Everyday Math


Ever wonder why stores offer discounts, or how the lottery works? Math isn’t just for the classroom, and its applications can be found in everyday life! Use our PBS LearningMedia Everyday Math collection to introduce challenging topics, such as percentages, probabilities, and debt, in new, inventive ways.

  • The Lowdown | Percents Defined

    Learn the basis for calculating percent as a rate per 100 in this video from KQED. In the accompanying classroom activity, students model percent with a 10 x 10 grid. After watching the video, they create a design or picture on a 10 x 10 grid, using a specified percentage of particular colors. They then consider the percentage of each color in the designs of the class as a whole. To get the most out of the lesson, students should be comfortable multiplying a whole number by a fraction with a denominator of 100.

    Grades: 6
  • The Lowdown | Defining and Calculating Percents

    Learn how to calculate and compare discounts in this video from KQED. In the accompanying classroom activity, students develop different strategies for calculating and comparing discounts, including percent off a price, percent of a price, and dollars off a price. They compare their strategies with those demonstrated in the video. Then, they write and solve story problems involving comparing percent off and dollars off a price. To get the most out of the lesson, students should be familiar with percent as a rate per 100 and comfortable calculating percent of a dollar amount (e.g., 80% of $80, 1% of $130).

    Grades: 6-7
  • The Lowdown | Percents Combined: Proportional Relationships with Multistep Ratio and Percent Problems

    Learn how to calculate sale price when combining two “percent-off” discounts in this video from KQED. In the accompanying classroom activity, students develop and share a variety of strategies, including modeling with a 10 x 10 grid to determine a total discount and sale price when two percent-off discounts are combined. They compare their strategies with the approach demonstrated in a video. To get the most out of the activity, students should be comfortable calculating discount as a percent off a dollar amount (e.g., 20% off an item priced at $50) and familiar with the concept of a ratio.

    Grades: 5-13+
  • The Lowdown | Your Odds of Winning the Lottery: Probability Models

    In this infographic, explore the math behind the chances of winning the lottery. In the accompanying classroom activity, students examine an infographic about the likelihood of winning the lottery. Then, they look at data about aluminum can production and recycling in the United States. Finally, students draft their own infographic. This resource is part of the Math at the Core: Middle School Collection.

    Grades: 6
  • The Lowdown | The Math of Credit Cards

    In this video from KQED, learn how credit cards work. In particular, you’ll discover the impact and high cost of outstanding balances when borrowing money using credit cards. In the accompanying classroom activity, students discuss the key concepts presented in the video, including the relationship between lines of credit, debt, spending, and interest charges. They then learn to calculate simple interest. This resource is part of the Math at the Core: Middle School Collection.

    Grades: 6-7