by Leo Reynolds
In a recent discussion about fractions in one of my online math courses, a student claimed s/he does not use fractions in her/his daily life but only in math courses. This student's response was a precious "teaching moment" to promote math awareness of how math is embedded in our lives. Below, you will find my reply to this student's post:
Thank you for your response, though I may have to respectfully disagree with
your assessment that you do not use fractions in your daily life. We are
constantly working with portions or making decisions out of a set of choices
in our daily lives, which is the same as working with fractions. Here are a
-- When pouring milk, juice, or soda in a cup, we are using a portion (fraction!) of the milk, juice, or soda available in the container.
-- When we receive our paycheck, a part (fraction!) of our money is used to pay the bills.
-- When we stop at an intersection and decide to make a left turn, your decision
(fraction!) was based on 4 posibilities: go straight, turn left, turn right, or go back (U-turn).
-- When we go shopping and take advantage of the sale of 25% off (fraction!) on every item.
-- When we type our name in the computer, we only use a few keys (fraction!) of the
-- When we have a headache, we take 1 or 2 Tylenol tablets (fraction!) out of the bottle.
These are only a few examples. There will be many more in this discussion, which I hope it will help you gain awareness that we all use fractions (and math!) every day in our lives.
I hope this helps.
Help me add more examples to this list, so I can share them with my students.