Math IS Real Life – January 2015 Edition: Spatial Reasoning!

It’s the first Wednesday of January which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture AND a link back to all four of our blogs – feel free to use the 2nd image and the links listed below!



 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by

 4mulaFunThe Teacher StudioTeaching to Inspire in 5th, AND MissMathDork,



You may remember back in the summer that I did a HUGE garage cleanout.  Well over break that clean-out was revisited for two reasons 1)we recently had garage door openers installed and needed some extra space for the cars and 2) I was getting my husband a surprise for Christmas that was going to need some space.

Having the vehicles parked in the garage makes for a very snug space.  We ended up needing to move some of the shelving that we had in front of his SUV.  We also had an air conditioning problem last month that required us to move everything out of a storage closet in the house.  Most of those items ended up in a pile in the garage  while the AC was being worked on.  During break my brother-in-law (he’s AMAZING!) came over and helped me revamp the area.  John (BIL) knew about the Christmas surprise so he understood the need for purging much trash, reorganizing, and leaving open space.

We spent about 3 hours moving and grooving but ended up getting a ton done! We moved stuff, and then moved it again, and then again…. we wanted to make sure to use the space in the best way  possible!


We moved one of the shelves next to the doorway.  My car which is much smaller parks on that side and I want to use that space as effectively as possible.


The 10 x 10 area was almost completely cleared out… why you ask? I bought my husband a server rack for Christmas and we plan on turning that space into a server room (with a bit of it used for Christmas decoration/tree storage).  We still need to find a home for the dresser that is in that space (probably a yard sale piece for the spring) and a few other pieces in there, but overall everything was removed.


Using this space was a bit more difficult because of the dimensions of the rack and the location of the power strip. The rack is 78″ tall, 24″ wide and 40″ deep.  In my head, I reversed the width and depth and didn’t think the rack would take up a ton of room.  Typically when you are dealing with rectangular prisms you can do that with no problem. However, when you are dealing with a prism that has a distinct front and back, the width and depth can’t be interchanged as easily.  Sure, you can still interchange the dimensions to find Surface Area or Volume, but not for placement.

pic 2

In the near future (sounds like another MIRLpost!) we plan to frame out the 10 x 10 room . possibly even a step up to keep the hardware off the floor. Now that we have the placement for the rack, we need to play around with what the rest of the room will look like…I think I need to sketch it out to “see” the placement of everything.  Will those shelves stay there? Will we want to keep the dresser for storage? Where is the best place to store the Christmas decorations? Do we need to build in a storage area above the shelving? Will there be room for the lawn mower still?  I want to make sure we can fit everything in that area without being squished!


  Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!

Categories: #mirl, geometry and measurement, and math is real life.


  1. Organization is such a hands-on math experience. Not sure all kids like it, but I know I did as a kid (at least the sorting portion). Great post and I wish you luck with finding a place for everything–sometimes I wonder if I should give 1/2 of what we own away : )
    Kids Math Teacher

  2. Garages are always such a problem … guess that’s why you see so many people leaving their cars parked in their driveways! 🙂 I like the way you’re taking on the challenge. My husband handles the garage problem by building up. At one point, our bikes were actually suspended from the ceiling and were raised and lowered with a winch!


  1. […] few months ago I wrote about the garage organization that took place to prepare for the new computer room.  I’m happy to report the computer […]

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