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Stanton County Elementary

200 N. Long St., Johnson, KS 67855

ph: 620.492.6216

fax: 620.492.1549

Elementary News ➤ Article 8592
Thumbnail Image for Article 8592Math in Real Life by Susanna Yust
Posted Date: 02/07/2017


As I gave fluids to my daughter, Clara, late one night, I realized I was holding a bag of math in the palm of my hand.  I quickly began typing up an assessment piece that was relevant to the real-world, fingers flying a mile-a-minute, excited to share this with my students.  The 6th graders have been studying ratio, rates, and unit rates for the last two weeks and I was ready for them to prove what they had learned.  

When I described the problem the kids would be tackling, several students exclaimed, “Yes!” while another, Areli Rodriguez asked, “Can we do this everyday?”

Using Clara’s feeding tube as our problem, the students used gravity feed bags to measure unit rates when the bag was varying heights from the ground.  They quickly realized the higher the bag was from the ground, the faster the unit rate was due to the gravitational force.  

On day 2, students analyzed the data to determine the best height for the bag to hit a certain rate.  In addition, they brainstormed and researched careers where ratios and rates are used in the workplace and explained how ratios are used.  To extend learning, they determined the validity of the bag (quality control) and created a schedule for when she should get fluids throughout the day.  

You never know when you will need math in your daily life.  Sometimes, you may not even realize you are using it.  What do you see everyday that involves math?  



6th grade class engaged in a unit rate and ratio performance assessment.

Alexys Walker and Chesney Peterson empty 1,000 mL of water at a height of 18 inches.


Adyson Scott, Cassandra Aleman, and Brendon Morris calculate unit rates in mL/s.


Suzanne Farnham unloads 1,000 mL of water from a height of 12 inches as Alexis Solis times the run.


Jennifer Villela works together with Diego Rodriguez as they refill the bag for their next height.


Sahnoa Wilson works with teammates Sienna Mata and Calyssa Seger to calculate unit rates for their second run.