Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Math is Real Life - October Edition

Now that things have settled down a bit, I am eager to join back up with the fabulous linky hosted by Miss Math Dork, 4mulafun, Fourth Grade Studio, and Teaching to Inspire in 5th!

With all the craziness of back to school last month, I am sad to report I didn't get a post up about how I used math in my life, but rest assured I used it more than a few times.

So here we are, the first Wednesday of October already!
This month, I wanted to think a little out of the box for my example. I am always telling my students that math can be so simple, you don't even realize that you are using it half the time. I tell them I use math the second I wake up and look over at the clock to see that it is time to get up and start my day. So this month's example is about timing...and a few other things.

The Boat:

This summer my husband and I decided to join a dragon boating team. I first got started with dragon boating through school when we were approached about putting together some teams of students for some charity races. I immediately fell in love and finally found an opportunity to join a recreational team close to our new house...and dragged along my husband (I think he enjoys it more than me now!)

Now, what does dragon boating have to do with math? Quite a bit actually.

You need to have the right number of people in a boat. The typical dragon boat holds 20 people, with a steer person in the back and a drummer in the front. We were in a mini boat which holds 10.

You need to have roughly equal weight on each side of the boat. I wasn't interested in testing out my swimming skills by flipping!

You need to be aware of your angles. The way you hold a paddle is very specific, you basically need to have your arms and paddle in a triangle shape or A-frame when you hit the water, being very mindful of not bending your arms. (It is very different from canoeing)

You need to know the distance you are going. We practiced both a 200 and 500 meter race. By the end of the 500, I swear my arm was going to fall off!

You need to determine the speed which you are going to travel. In order to go the fastest the secret is not to paddle as fast and strong as you can, the secret is the be synchronized. If you are in stride with everyone in the boat you you are going to go faster. The drummer sets the pace of the boat with his beat/counting. In order to get a strong start you do 3 counts of five strong, deep paddles, after the boat is moving you slow the cout down to counts of 10 until you pass the finish line. Depending on where you are in the race the drummer may slow the count or speed it up.

You will also want to be aware of your times. In the end dragon boating is a competitive sport. You want to set goals for yourself and eventually beat them. You want to keep track of your progress to see how you are improving.You also want to be aware of your competitors times, in order to beat them!

The Big Race:

So, after praticing once a week during the summer our team signed up for a charity race to raise money for Cancer Care.

We competed in a 500 meter race. How did we do, you ask?

We came in 2nd place with a time of 2 minutes and 35 seconds, missing out 1st place by only 4 seconds!! We were pretty proud of ourselves!!

How have you used math this month?
Let me know how in the comments. Feel free to leave a link to your own blog post.


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