Math IS Real Life: December 2018 Edition – mismatched measurements

This It’s the first Wednesday of December 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 to link back to this blog post


 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by MissMathDork,


A few weeks back my sister brought the kiddos up to visit and we went to the park.  I was so excited when I saw that the swing / slide / monkey bar combo had a growth chart on the side.  What a great way for students to see a different type of ruler, in a fun place, in their everyday life.  That’s when I noticed the issue… can you guess what’s wrong with this picture?

Hmmm…  maybe I should mention that I’m 6′ 00″ tall and my sister is closer to 5′ 6″.  Now do you see what’s wrong with this picture?  No, I’m not squatting, I’m standing up straight, not slouching.  So how does this happen?  At first I thought the ground had settled… then I realized that I would have been “taller”.  Perhaps the chart was meant to be level when mulch was around… then I realized there would need to be almost 6 inches of mulch.  Yikes?!  Could the measurements really just be that far off?  As you can see from the bottom of the picture the “bottom” of the ruler begins at 3′ 00″.  Is this fixable?!  How? Pose this question to your students and see what they come up with!

So, how else could you use these pictures, and our known measurements in your class?  Let me know if and how you decide to use these #mathfails in your classroom 🙂


  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, math is real life, mathematical reasoning, and mental math.

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