When Am I Going To Use This: Delayed Gratification

See Dan Meyer’s Link for this one…

“I just don’t think you can ask a student to endure twelve years of frustrating math instruction now with the promise of a job making $70k as an architect later. It isn’t just kids who are lousy at delaying gratification like this, it’s everybody. And you’re asking them to do more than delay gratification. You’re asking them to delay gratification and embrace something they dislike.

Our students are living in the real world right now. There is nothing more real to a student than right now. Their friends, their enemies, their greatest loves and biggest heartbreaks, their passions, their hopes and their dreams are wrapped up in a few buildings, a quad area, and a blacktop. Saying this isn’t “the real world” diminishes everything there is about a student. Stop preparing kids for the real world and prepare them for right now.”

A Fix: Get each pupil to ask five adults what grade they got at GCSE Mathematics and how much they earn (using pre-defined cateogies in class). Pool all results together and pupils can see first hand the corrolation between doing well in maths and earnings. Further, they are actually doing maths for ‘real’, whilst seeing the point of the below – as well as leading nicely on to mean of continuous data, histograms and frequency polygons.  Nice!


Death Rates (GapMinder)


Fattest Man On Earth

“In 1995, newspapers in the US reported the death of the fattest man in the world. He had come to weigth 465 kilograms… and had to be transported by fork lift truck.

Obviously he was an example of the obesity problem, yet it would have required a weigth gain of only 37 grams per day to take him from a normal 70kg at the age of sixteen up to eh grotesque proportions of his death at just 45 years of age. This is the equivilent of eating an extra 250 calories per day – less than one normal chocolate bar.”

 – Mike Stroud, Survival of the Fittest

Extra information needed:

1 gram of fat =  9 calories

1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories

1 gram of protein = 4 calories