Looking for non-traditional methods and materials for math instruction? These free sites offer creative math exercises and problem-solving activities that can help your children learn math concepts -- minus the dry textbook questions.

Relating Math to the Real World 

RealWorldMath: This site enables students to take the math concepts they’re learning and apply them to a variety of tasks using information, images and tools in Google Earth. Downloads for over 30 activities are available.

FoodMaster: The hands-on activities at this site use food and cooking to teach math (and science) concepts. You can download individual chapters and answer keys for grades 3 - 5, 6 - 8, and labs for high school. Explore measurement and conversions, ratios and percentages, comparisons, etc. using a variety of foods. Many activities involve graphing and experimentation.

Problem Solving

MathCounts: Solve a variety of word problems: compare the value of two summer jobs; perform calculations with gift cards; explore percents and probabilities with ice cream, and more. There's an archive, where you can view past problems and answers. The exercises can be searched by topic (Moon Math; Pizza Problems) or concept (measurement, percents and fractions), with new problems presented each week. Also at the site are MathCounts Minis, videos teaching math concepts, with downloadable worksheets and answer sheets.

TV411Features of number of videos showing people using math in real-world situations: taking measurements; figuring area; choosing the most affordable phone plan, etc.

Math Maven Mysteries: This Scholastic site presents short story mysteries to solve, and in the process, you're reviewing key math concepts. Categorized by skill and diffifculty level, and the mysteries can be downloaded.

Figure ThisMath challenges

Math In Your Backyard

Maths Outdoors: It's amazing what math investigations can be done with just some sticks and stones: shapes and symmetry; angles and fractals; measurement, multiplication and many more. This site is full of a lot of great ideas, not just for exploring math concepts, but for educating outside in the other subject areas. 

Mathematical Moments:  How we use math in our everyday lives.

Math Riddles for KidsBrain stretchers for elementary through high school.

For additional real world math activities, check out this list of sites from Education World; and this Pinterest page.

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