Things to do while at the store

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					         Things to Do While at the Store
1. Calculate/estimate the discount on items advertised % off.

2. Estimate the cost of all of the items in your basket by rounding and then adding in your
head. Jot down your estimate as you shop so you don’t lose track, and then check it against
the register tape. Another estimation exercise involves the total cost of your purchases. Have
your child keep a tally going as you pick up items around the store. See how well they have
added the prices and estimated the total cost when you check out. This exercise is best
introduced when a child has grasped the concept of addition. Additionally, be sure to start this
activity with a small amount of purchases and gradually work your way up to a larger sized
shopping trip.

3. Or, you can cut the total off of the bottom of the register tape and see how close you can
estimate the cost of all of the items.

4. Keep a running total of all prices on a calculator and then calculate the tax too. See if your
total matches the cash register receipt.

                5. Look at a product label on a can or a box and figure out what all the
                numbers mean. Figure out what all of the nutritional information means.

                6. Use the label on a product to figure out how many you would have to buy to
                serve 100 people, 500 people, or 1,000 people.

7.          Comparison shop--figure out whether it is better to buy two 24-ounce boxes of
cereal for $.96 or three 20-ounce boxes of the same cereal for $1.20. You can do this at the
store using items you need to purchase. Compare the unit prices of different sizes of 3 or more
kinds of food.

8. Pay for a small purchase with a large bill and then make sure you got the correct amount of
change. Or, just make the purchase for mom or dad, count out the correct amount of money,
and then count your change.

9. How much money do you think mom or dad spends on food every week? Check with them
and compare your estimate with the actual amount they spend. Any surprises?

10. Help mom or dad plan the week’s menu and then create a shopping list to accompany the
menu. Check weekly sale ads for local grocery stores to see if there is anything you can buy on
sale. Take coupons with you too. Estimate the cost of the groceries before you shop, and then
compare your estimate to the actual cost.

11. Estimate the number of bags it will take to hold all of your purchases.

12. Have your children help you weigh the produce you plan on purchasing. This is a
   great opportunity to explain weight and estimation. Ask your children to estimate how
   much the items weigh, and then check their estimations. With time your children will
   get better at estimating weight.
Things to Do in the Car or on the Road
1. Compare prices for 10 gallons of gasoline by using the cost of gas per
gallon. Or, estimate the cost to fill the car based on the number of
gallons your car’s gas tank holds.

2. Identify road signs and tell what geometric shape they are.

3. Read a map. This helps you with graphing and grids and the use of indexes and cross

4. Use a map to estimate the distance from your house to a friend’s house. Write down the
odometer reading before you leave and after you arrive to calculate the actual distance.

5. Estimate/calculate the time it will take you to drive a given distance based on your current
speed (miles per hour).

6. Search for numbers while driving around town. Ask your child to find the numbers one
through 40 while taking a trip in the car. These numbers could be from license plates,
addresses, street signs, even billboards. Have them include numbers that were spelled out
or part of a phrase. This will help your child with number recognition and see that math is
used every day.

                  7. License Plate Game: add up the numbers on the car license plates as
                  they pass by. You should alternate cars so that you would get the first plate,
                  your friend/sister would get the second plate, you would get the third, and
                  so on. You could set a time limit or a number goal to know who the winner
                  is. (you could use tally marks)

8. Passenger Game: a variation on the license plate game. You take turns adding the number
of passengers in a car. Or, you can make a frequency table and tally the different number of
passengers. You could create a graph to go along with your frequency table.

9. Give a friend/brother/sister mental math problems.

10. Count the number of telephone poles in one mile. Estimate the number of poles for your
entire trip based on the trip odometer.
         Things to Do Around the House
1. Write your own classified ad and then calculate the cost of the ad using
the prices listed in the newspaper.

2. Collect the length of all commercials during a 30 minute tv show. Order the length of the
commercials from least to greatest. Find the range(big minus small), mode(most
common length), median(middle length), and mean(average of all the times).

3. Estimate the monthly payments for a new car. Do 36 and 48 months. Use the car
ads in the newspaper for car prices.

4. Estimate the area of a room or wall and then measure to find out how close your estimate

5. Listen to the evening news and figure out what was in the newscast that required the use of

6. Record and graph the temperature at the same time each day for a week.

7. Look up distances from your house to the cities of friends and relatives. Use a bar graph to
show who lives closest and who lives farthest away.

               8. Start a scrapbook of things you find in newspapers, magazines or anything
               in print that show how math is used.

               9. Practice dividing money amounts. Have mom or dad make up amount of
              money they pay for mortgage or rent each month. Calculate the rent or mortgage
by the number of people in the household. How much does it cost for 1 person in your house
for rent or mortgage?

10. Almost the same as above, but do it for the car payment or groceries. You calculate the
cost of clothing, entertainment, gasoline, etc. for each person in your house for the month or
for a week.

11. Draw a floor plan of your bedroom to scale. One foot of your room can equal one inch on
your floor plan. Measure your furniture and make cardboard replicas that are to scale. Now
you can figure out how many different ways you can rearrange your room. You just have to
move the furniture pieces around the floor plan until you find the one you want. Don’t forget
to include doors and windows on your floor plan.

12. Estimate the weight of your family’s weekly laundry. Write down your estimate. Stand on
the scale and weigh yourself. Now, stand on the scale with the laundry. Figure out how much
more you weigh with the laundry than without it and this will tell you how much the laundry
weighs. You can do this with any other object in your house too.

13. Create a blueprint or draw up a plan for something you would like to make or build.
Figure out the supplies you need and create a shopping list. Build or make your project. How
close were you to your plan? Did you have any problems? Did you buy enough stuff? What did
you do wrong? What did you do that was right?
14. Open a school store, a grocery store, or a department store for a younger brother or sister
(or even a younger neighbor). Make up fake money and label everything with a price. You
could have mom or dad run the register and you could be a shopper’s assistant for the
younger person.

15. What shoe size do you wear? If you wear a size 6 for example, why is it that there isn’t
anything about your shoe that has to do with the number 6. Research how shoe sizes were
assigned. Hint: It started in the 1300s and it had to do with something that farmers grew.

16. Create currency for a new country.
                             Talking and Writing About Math
1. Ask yourself what you did today that required you to use math.

2. Why do stores sell things for $5.99 rather than $6.00?

3. Do you think coupons save consumers money, or are they more trouble than they are

4. Think of several ways you can earn money this summer. Choose something you would like
to purchase with that money and see how long it will take you to earn that money.

5. Why do stores have sales?

6. Explain to a younger brother or sister why math is so important.

7. Tell why a person counting to 200 by tens would get there faster than a person counting by

8. Make up your own humorous math sentences using math words. (Fractions break me up!
Circumference really keeps me going in circles! Scales, what a heavy thought!)

9. Write a math jingle to a famous tune. (Geometry is about lines and shapes, lines and
shapes, lines and shapes Mary Had a Little Lamb).

10. Make a rhyme in the following way:

6   and 8 went on a date
6   x 8 is 48.
6   and 7 lost their shoe
6   x 7 is 42.
6   and 9 washed the floor
6   x 9 is 54.

11. Make up a story in which the characters, people, and events are all math words. For
example: Mr. Peri Meter met Mr. E.Z. Math on the corner of Geometry Street and Angle
Avenue. They were going to lunch at the Square Deal Restaurant.
12. Make a creative story using the titles below:

How It Came To Be and Other Tales: The Day Division Was Invented
Why Multiplication Was Invented
How Numbers Became Squares
Six Did Not Pick Up Sticks
The Prime Minister of Numbers
How I Became a Roman Numeral
How I Became an Odd Number
How I Made a Million in the Stock Market

13. Rewrite or retell a fairy tale to include numerical information. Once upon a time there
were three little pigs. The oldest was Buffa. He was 14 years old and he liked to tell jokes. Next
came Herbert who was 12 years old. He was the funniest of the three, etc...

14. Write a script for a video that tell how numbers have played an important part in your life.
Tell about your successes and failures.

15. Create a math newsletter for your family. Research Fibonacci, Benjamin Banneker, Sonya
Kovalesky, and Eratosthenes. Include something on Roman Numerals. Make up word
problems or brain teasers. Be creative. Include stories or poems about numbers. Include your
families’ favorite recipes and tell how to double or halve the amounts.

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