Category Archives: Real life math

Creating Pi Charts About Matt’s Day by Dani

One day, Mrs. Kynigou gave us an fun activity! It was about a book called Sign of the Beaver. It is about a kid called Matt that lived in the forest alone when his dad left him to go get his mom, sister, and the newborn baby. In this activity we combined reading with math. We had to:

-Find the main activities Matt did as he lived in the forest.
-Find evidence for the time he spent on each activity.
-Record our results by making a pie chart and writing the fraction of hours spent from the whole day on each activity.

At first we discussed it together. We believed that the main activities were sleeping(1/2 of the day), producing food(1/4 of the day), and growing corn(1/4 of the day).
Later, we were assigned to work in our table groups to do the same. When we were all finished discussing in our groups, each group picked on one person of the group to present their thoughts. We’ve even taken a video of the presenters!

We hope you enjoy the video!

Applying Fractions from Penny Kynigou on Vimeo.

Fractions in Action!


Fractions, fractions, everywhere! You can’t seem to get through life without them!
Interview your parents to find out how they use fractions in their lives. When do they add or subtract, multiply or divide fractions. Do they ever use mixed numbers?
Write a brief scenario in your comment to show those fractions in action!

Here’s an example:
I wanted to go to IKEA over the Christmas vacation to pick up some things for the house. I live downtown and it is quite a long way to the airport so I checked how much gas I had before setting out. I had about one quarter of a tank full. When I got to IKEA I realized that I only had one sixth of a tank left. Will I have enough gas to get home or do I need to find a gas station in a hurry?

How to feed 6 kids with 60 Turkish Lira!


During Thanksgiving break I went with my family to Istanbul, Turkey. My family travelled together with two other families. We had made a group of 10 people.
On the last day we all had 60 Turkish liras left for food. Our problem was how we would feed 6 kids with 60 Turkish liras.
At first all the kids wanted individual chicken nuggets with 6 pieces that cost 11 liras and french fries that were 12 lira. If everyone bought themselves chicken nuggets and fries it would cost 66 Turkish lira because 6 times 11 is equal to 66 and if they bought french fries it would cost 72 lira because 12 times 6 is equal to 72. So if we bought individual nuggets and fries it would cost altogether (66+72) 138 liras.
Then we thought about it and found a solution. It would be better if we all split the chicken nuggets evenly so we bought 3 boxes of chicken nuggets with 18 pieces in all. Everyone ate 3 pieces. We also had money left over so we bought and split two boxes of French fries. Our meal was delicious!

Great job, Marilina! Ordering food really gives some great math problems!
Does anyone else have a real life math problem to share?

Real Life Math: Planning the Christmas Party

Christmas Party Math from Penny Kynigou on Vimeo.

Today we worked on a new project for the fifth grade’s Christmas party!!! Mrs.Kynigou gave us a sheet of paper to record the total prices of each item. Also, we recorded the number of items in each pack, how much does each individual item cost, the number of packs we need to buy for 60 people and the total price that it would cost in total for Mrs. Kynigou’s class! We had to write up a little summary about how to find the total cost, and how much money we could save on the cheaper napkins ( if we bought the cheaper or the most expensive) . We want to give the money we can save by using up the supplies we had from Halloween , other holidays and birthdays, as charity to poor people or people that have suffered in different places or that have suffered in the past. We had a big discussion in class about where to give the remaining 17.47 euro that were left over. Many people suggested different things like giving them to poor people or using them for other class reasons. People also suggested we should give them to Mrs.Koutsioukis because she is collecting jackets for charity and people in need. Personally, Stathis and I believe that we should give the money to a local Charity.
By Anna Louise and Stathis

Post a comment and tell us where you think the money we save should go.

Real life Math at Santa Claus Kingdom

My mum, Anna, Danae and I went to Santa Claus Kingdom. The entrance ticket was 15$ for the kids under 12 and 5$ for the adults. Anna, Danae and I are 10 years old. We all ate popcorn which cost 2$ for each. The girls and I ate candy which cost 3$ each. We all had one bottle of water which cost 1$ each. And we all played games which cost 2$ for each. How much did we spend at Santa Claus Kingdom?

What’s your answer? Add a comment explaining how you calculated it.

Fifth Grade Goes Bananas!

When we were doing fractions in math, we had two bananas and we tried to share them equally among three people. We had to find ideas to cut the bananas equally so that each child gets the exact portion of the banana. Therefore, we measured the banana with a ruler and each person realized that we should cut both bananas into three pieces. Each student enjoyed 1/3 of each banana so that makes 2/3s in all. It was an exciting math lesson because after we cut each banana, we ate them!
By Raneem
Can you think of other ways of cutting food and sharing it using fractions or mixed numbers?
Add a comment.

A Magic Carpet for our classroom!

“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a carpet in our classroom? ” I asked my students, “A rug where we could all sit together and share ideas, where we could stretch out and read stories?”
This initial idea sparked a practical mathematical investigation in our classroom as Dani, Mike, George and Constantinos collaborated to solve the problem. I asked them to figure out the following:

About how much carpet area is needed for twenty children and one teacher to be able to sit around the edges.
• What are all the possible dimensions of such a rug?
• What options are best and why?
• How much would this cost to buy at IKEA?

“Let’s measure how much space an average 5th grader needs to sit,” said Mike. “Let’s measure George and Constantinos.”

“Don’t forget the teacher! We can measure the chair for her and add that in,” pointed out Constantinos. “It’s about 70 cm.”
“Ok, if 1 5th grader needs 60 cm, then 20 students will need 1,200cm, plus the teacher’s chair equals about 1,270cm. If that is the perimeter, then we can have either a rug 500×135, or 400×235. “ figured Dani.

“Let’s see which would fit best in the corner by the cubbies,” said George thinking practically.
“The second one is better because the first would not fit. It would go on the wall,” figured Dani.

“Mrs Kynigou told us the cheapest rug costs 19.99€, but it’s not big enough. It’s only 133x197cm. Two rugs fit almost everyone, but it’s not fair to leave some kids sitting on the floor. Can we buy three?” they all reasoned.
“If we have three rugs 197×399, then the perimeter is 1,191cm. That is still not enough. I think I have a better way…like an L shape…That gives us 1,320cm, that’s enough for 20 kids,” argued Dani.


The students took their finished reports and shared them with Ms Makropoulos. They came back excitedly, “The principal agreed! Now we have to find out if the other fifth grades want rugs too?”
“Wait! How much will that cost?”
“She told us to fill out a requisition. What’s one of those and how do you fill it out?”

We are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of our “magic carpet”!
“We’d better hurry up,” says Dani. “That offer only lasts until the end of November!”
Posted by Mrs Kynigou

Comment time:
What math skills did our students use to solve this problem?
Write a comment below identifying a specific skill used to solve a specific part of this problem.
Can you suggest another real life project that we could try to solve using our math skills?