Math in everything we do

Cynthia Breedlove
Ramstein Intermediate School teacher

Count on B.J. Riley’s third graders to make good math decisions. The teacher and her students at Ramstein Intermediate School spent a day trying to answer the question, “Why do we need to know math?”

Mindful that “Math Matters” is a Department of Defense Dependent Schools initiative and that Math Month is in April, Ms. Riley, parents, and students planned a day, which would entertain and educate.

The morning of Jan. 25 began with a variety of games, such as Mancala, a game of strategy, Smath, a type of math scrabble, Jeopardy Math, and Monopoly. These games set the stage for a bigger challenge in the form of Sodoku, a math game, which is wildly popular in the United States.

Christine Ford, parent and Ramstein American High School math teacher, worked with the students on the activity. She was “impressed with the way the students worked together,” she said. “They are a great group of kids.”  

Math even seeped into lunchtime. In order to purchase lunch in the classroom, each student was given $5.50 in play money. Students had to buy at least four items and they needed to pay with the correct amount.  

Ms. Riley said the goal was to “get the students to think about the value of money.” Cristel Brown, parent, said the activities were great.

Ms. Riley said her students discovered that math is in almost everything they do.

“They were able to develop a list of reasons why we need to know math,” she said.