Today I was inspired to join Miss Math Dork in her Math Is
Real Life series! Although this math
problem is for school, it is a real life teacher problem, so I think that
qualifies. :)

My task was to create not one, but two posters this year for
our 100s Day of School math competition.
Although I posted about this last year over at Shut the Door and Teach, this year Mr. E next door wanted
his class to join in on the fun. This
time there would be 2 fourth grade classes competing to solve 100 2 digit by 2
digit multiplication problems.

Therefore, my first task was simple enough. I needed to find half so I divided by 2.

The next task was a little more complex, and exactly the sort of problem that I've asked my fourth graders to find. We had decided to be the "Red Team" and the "Blue Team," and I had 2 18" x 24" poster boards in red and blue. The math questions I had were:

- Are the posters big enough for 50 Post Its each?
- Which area model will work best for my Post Its?

I also love that B and C turned out to be the same, just
with a different layout. Therefore I
only had to carry on with two options as I continued.

My next math problem is that each sticky note is 3" by
3." Therefore I had to multiply the
length and width of each row and column by 3.

Seems straightforward, however when thinking about the real world application, a
poster requires a bit of "wiggle room." Practically speaking, I need about 1/4"
of space in between each sticky note if we're going to be taking them down and
putting them back up again. That means
that after the first 4 rows/columns, I need another inch. For the 5th through 8th row, I need a second
inch, and so on.

(Just noticed a misspelling on one of the "columns," sorry). Notice that labels became important here! I admit, when I was writing this out I
originally added on to the inches, not to the rows/columns, but I quickly realized my
numbers were way too large. By labeling
columns, rows, and inches, I was able to keep track of where to add the extra
few inches.

The result: Sadly, my
18" by 24" poster board was NOT going to work for this project. Luckily, in true teacher fashion, I had spare
chart paper that was plenty large enough.
Here are the results:

A little planning and math know-how saved me from having to redo at least one poster! Now they're ready for Thursday (weather permitting). I can't wait to show them off to the fourth graders.

If you have a Math Is Real Life story, why not join Miss Math Dork's linky?

A monthly REAL WORLD

math blog link-up hosted by

AND MissMathDork.

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