Recent scholarship in mathematics education has increasingly supported the power of connecting mathematics lessons to students’ lived experiences. This case study, drawn from a larger multi-year study, traces the reflections and pedagogical practice of a middle school mathematics teacher who regularly connected her lessons to real-world contexts. We highlight how the teacher connected a fractions lesson to the context of making soup for her family to accomplish several goals including: (1) sharing stories to learn more about students, (2) moving beyond numbers to build understanding, (3) building students’ mathematical confidence, and (4) making space for students to connect mathematical ideas. These findings provide insight into how making real-world mathematical connections may impact students’ understanding.
Tonya Gau Bartell
Kristen N. Bieda
Ralph T. Putnam
Stoehr, K., Turner, E., & Sugimoto, A. (2015). One teacher’s understandings and practices for real-world connections in mathematics. In T. G. Bartell, K. N. Bieda, R. T. Putnam, K. Bradfield, & H Dominguez (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 1150 –1153). East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University.