Math skills are crucial in almost any work environment. Register receipts, spreadsheets, budgets, and the company’s bottom line are just a few of the aspects of work in which employees are required to use some math knowledge. Therefore, one set of skills required by the WorkKeys assessment is applied mathematics. WorkKeys learners must be able to apply mathematical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques to work-related problems.
Level 3 of the WorkKeys Applied Mathematics assessment includes word problems that need to be translated to a math equation. All of the information needed to solve the problems is presented in logical order, and no distracting information is included.
Learners are required to solve problems with a single mathematics operation; add or subtract negative numbers; change numbers from one form to another using whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or percentages; and convert simple money and time units.
Students studying for the GED® credential may also find practicing applied mathematics helpful. The GED® test requires test-takers to employ a wealth of mathematical skills, including those covered here.
This LearningMedia resource was created as a result of a correlation of KET’s adult education materials to the WorkKeys® Assessments for the National Career Readiness Certificate™.
The “Dollars and Cents” video segment examines fractions and decimals, using money as an example. Look at decimals or fractions using other examples, such as time, measurements, and recipes.
After viewing “Dollars and Cents,” discuss the concept of fractions being “a map of the territory between whole numbers.” Does this image help your understanding of fractions? Why or why not?
“We Can Work it Out” shows several examples of workplace mathematics, including a restaurant budget, estimations for a road paving project, and monitoring the weights of animals. Discuss the situations that need to be addressed in each case and how those workers go about solving the problems.
After viewing “We Can Work it Out,” discuss and practice some commonly used formulas. A few of them used in the WorkKeys Applied Mathematics assessment are: perimeter = 2(length + width) area = length x width volume = length x width x height
This LearningMedia resource includes two videos and worksheets designed to demonstrate WorkKeys skills. Below are suggestions for using these elements in a classroom setting and more ideas for teaching applied mathematics.
In the “Dollars and Cents” video segment, bank teller Julie Meade talks about mistakes that people often make on deposit slips. Ask a local bank for blank copies of their commonly used forms, such as deposit and withdrawal slips and checkbook registers, and allow students to practice with them. Work on filling the forms out completely and correctly as well as the proper mathematical operations.
After viewing “We Can Work It Out,” have the class create a short restaurant menu and budget based on the local grocery store’s food prices.
In a workplace environment, employees may be required to combine their math skills with basic computer skills. Incorporate technology into your applied mathematics lessons by including Microsoft Excel, Google Docs spreadsheets, or other software programs that work with formulas and equations.
Assign directly to your students using the code or link above, without having them log in. Simply tell your students to go to
www.pbsstudents.org and enter the Assignment Code, or click on the Assignment URL to share the assignment as a link.