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Connections Between Math & Other Disciplines

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

As a math teacher, you don't have to just teach the math concepts. You can also show how these math concepts work in the real world. You can even make connections with the other classes your students are taking. Learn more in this lesson.

Math

What is math? It's not just a topic meant to bore your students. No, it's a topic that can help your students in so many areas of life. As their math teacher, you have the wonderful opportunity to inspire your students to love math and use it to help them solve problems in their lives. You can show them how math is used everywhere. It's used in technology, in the sciences, the arts, and even auto shop. It's funny, but math has no formal definition because different groups of people define it differently. Generally speaking though, math is the study of numbers and values and how to manipulate them. Now, let's take a look at how you can make math connections with other subjects.


math connections


Technology

The first on the list is technology. Most of your students probably have a smartphone, a tablet, or a computer. And if they don't, one of their friends probably does. Either way, your students are exposed to it and know how they work for the most part.

To make a math connection here, you can take a bit of information from programming classes and tell your students that all the software and apps that computers, tablets, and smartphones use is built from math, from math logic specifically. When computer programmers write programs, they are essentially writing in code that represents logic (if this happens, then do this). But all this logic is represented by binary numbers, numbers that consist of only 0s and 1s. A number 2 in binary is 10, a 4 in binary is 100, an 8 in binary is 1000.

What happens when a computer reads the code for a particular software program or app is that it begins to process the logic inside the code. The code might say, display the opening screen if the user clicks on program or app icon, otherwise stay closed. The digit 1 represents a yes and a 0 represents a 0. So, as long as the user doesn't click, then the computer sees a 0 for that program. But as soon as the user clicks on it, the computer changes it to 1 and begins to process all the other logic components of the program.

Logic

So logic is another area you can connect your math with. Logic when it comes to persuasive arguments is also something you can definitely weave into your classes. Without math, the logic wouldn't be as persuasive. You can ask your students which of these logical arguments is more persuasive.

  • If you run, you will lose weight.
  • If you run 30 minutes a day, you will lose 3 pounds a week.

The latter is more persuasive because it uses math to support its argument. And actually, logic and statistics is a whole separate field of study in math.

The Sciences

Math is also extensively used in the sciences field. The subjects of physics, chemistry, and biology, all use science. In physics, you have all the formulas that represent how things work in the real world. In chemistry, you have all the formulas that describe various chemical reactions. In biology, you have numbers and relations between various parts of the body.

Math can also be seen in nature. For example, the Fibonacci sequence is a famous mathematical sequence that has many examples in the real world. The relationships between various measurements of our body follow the Fibonacci sequence. Here, you can show how learning math in your class will help with problem solving in the student's other classes. You can even have your students ask for help in solving problems from other classes.

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