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Saturday, November 1, 2014

This is Real Life Math

I love the monthly Math is Real Life linky hosted by 4mulaFun, Miss Math Dork, Teaching to Inspire in 5th and The Teacher Studio because they force me to think about the math I've been using and this past month has been all about math.

Right now things at my house feel a little bit like a Laura Numeroff book. If your husband buys a car to restore, you are going to need a garage to put it in. If you put it in your regular garage there won't be room for your daughter's car. If there's no room for your daughter's car when it starts to snow, you will feel bad for her in the early mornings when she is trying to get to school or early morning swim practice and you will realize that you need another garage. So...if your husband buys a car to restore, you will need to build a second garage.'s time for a second garage. Do you have any idea how much math is involved in planning to build? Yikes, all we do is calculate and recalculate, measure and remeasure. So here's the 3D version of the plan. This is so much fun to play around with because I'm able to turn it myself to see all angles.

We also have the floor plan to look at which gives all of the lengths.

And then there are the elevations. This is the front elevation.

And a close up elevation of the fireplace.

Now comes all of the math. Will our motorhome fit in and will we still be able to walk around it? Measuring and more measuring. If we decide to brick the fireplace, how many bricks do we order? How many square feet of cement are needed and what will it cost? And how about those solar panels shown on the 3D version? How many panels do I need to cover my 1100 kilowatt average monthly usage? That's actually a hard problem because each panel makes 255 watts per hour but you have to calculate the number of sun hours you get. Then you need the average in a year. Plus you have to convert watts to kilowatts and work with the average use and production of each panel on top of the cost of installation compared to the cost of just continuing to buy electricity? That's just confusing! What about an electric car? Is that financially worthwhile? I think a jacuzzi would be fun out on the patio, how much electricity would it use and would I need to add more solar panels? This entire project is nothing but math and the worst math problem of all is how much will this entire thing cost? Can we afford it? This is my real life math and it's going on right now. I think we should just retile a bathroom. It would be a whole lot easier and cheaper!

How are you using math outside of the classroom?


  1. Wow! We built our house about 5 years ago and over and over I was thinking of my students and how much they would learn by coming to our construction site. I love the idea of solar panels on the roof!

    The Math Maniac

  2. Holy heck!! First and foremost what an incredibly awesome program!!! I love how you can see all the views! Second.... wooooo what an undertaking!!! I do hope you keep taking pictures and posting more about the progress!!! Thanks so much for linking up!!

    Jamie aka MissMathDork