Modeling with mathematics is the practice of making sense of the world through a mathematical perspective. Take a moment to look around and get curious: How do you use mathematics to make decisions in your everyday life? Maybe you’re deciding what to make for dinner. Does the recipe have enough servings to feed everyone or will you need to modify it, perhaps by doubling or halving the amount of each ingredient? When should you start making dinner if you’d like to eat at 6?
These questions can be viewed from a mathematical perspective. There is something to count, measure, or quantify and the answers to these questions have real and interesting implications for our lives.
Children also need opportunities to identify mathematical problems in their world, determine what information will help them solve a problem, develop mathematical models of situations, and revise their models to more closely predict real world phenomena. This is the work of modeling with mathematics, a mathematical practice identified by the Common Core State Standards as central to the work of K-12 mathematics.