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Features practical, everyday uses of math in 'real-life' situations
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Overview - Occumatics

Product Type: Worksheets
Author: Scott Robert Poor
Number of Pages: 216 pages
Reproducible: Yes
Reading Level: Secondary, Adult
Age Appropriate Level: Yes
Copyright: 1991

This innovative program introduces students to 36 occupations while featuring practical, everyday uses of math in "real-life" situations. It was developed as a method of showing students the complete cycle of math, from basic fact-learning to applied math skills in the workplace. The assignments cover many different math-related situations that students will encounter as adults. The inventive mix of occupations and mathematics is what makes Occumatics a unique and valuable program.

Occumatics is presented in a sturdy three-ring binder divided into tabbed sections entitled Occumatics I (covering whole numbers and decimals and designed to be completed in one semester) and Occumatics II (covering whole numbers, decimals, and fractions in the second semester). Each section is outlined in 18, one-week units so that the lessons can be easily integrated into any school curriculum. Each unit consists of Job Chat, Skill Check, Applied Skill, and Puzzle Time. Teaching suggestions and Answer Key are included in the binder.

Job Chat. 
These are math story problems that relate to a specific occupation. They can be completed either as a group or individual activity. To enhance this portion, guest speakers from the specific occupations could be invited to visit the class.

Skill Check. 
These are to be completed individually. Depending on each student's skill they can complete the problems by longhand or calculator. The Think Box portion of the skill check is designed to make students look at the basic math operations from a higher level of thinking.

Applied Skill. 
This can be completed either individually or as a group. Students should use calculators in order to gain proficiency, as the use of calculators is realistic in these work situations.

Puzzle Time. 
This can be completed individually or in small groups. It is designed to be fun. Although it might seem that the puzzles are repeating what the Skill Check page has done, it is important to provide the constant, consistent practice needed by students to build and sharpen their abilities.

When presented with ongoing review throughout the school year, students can improve their levels of proficiency with the four basic operations involving whole numbers and decimals. The program teaches students how to determine weekly pay rate, give and receive change, understand and calculate sales price, budget while shopping, understand simple banking terms, and solve many other day-to-day math situations. The binder contains 216 reproducible Student Worksheets that cover addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percents, and metrics.


-Become more proficient with the basic four math operations in the areas of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions.
-Become more proficient in practical life skills that relate to math.
-Be able to answer math story problems that relate to a specific occupation.
-Be able to list ways that math would be used in different occupations.
-Be able to write answers that demonstrate an understanding of the general procedures involved in specific occupations.
-Be able to answer questions of a conceptual nature concerning different occupations.
-Complete puzzles by answering math questions.

The occupations used to illustrate the math activities include kitchen worker, vending machine mechanic, architect, teacher, telephone repairman, computer programmer, railroad conductor, bank teller, pilot, nurse, librarian, newspaper reporter, plumber, forester, automobile salesperson, police, stone mason, meat cutter, auto mechanic, model, taxi driver, social worker, beautician, telephone operator, mail carrier, firefighters, photographer, air traffic controller, disc jockey, truck driver, accountant, heavy equipment operator, locksmith, meteorologist, jeweler, and insurance salesperson.

Applied skills include time card hours, overtime pay, making change, sales tax, figuring profit, deposit slip, savings account, check writing, check register, paycheck deductions, figuring the bill, gas mileage, sale price savings, story problems, weights and measures, averages, writing numbers in words, chain math problems, map reading, budgeting, perimeter and area, phone bills, money problems itemized bills, shopping, and first apartment.



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