Students connect real life experiences through this adding and subtracting with whole numbers and decimals workshop. Students also become highly engaged by getting to role play the waitress, waiter, clerk, and customer roles all the while making direct connection to place value. Students add and subtract whole numbers and decimals and then pay with a "personal check" by using the standard and written form of numbers. Then, teachers have the option of extending the workshop and have students pay in play money to make the connection to expanded notation. The workshop includes the lesson plan, a fictitious menu for "The Blue Fin," per-designed order forms, restaurant checks, personal checks, and an order form where the students are able to order their own lunches or dinners and switch roles.
When I present this workshop to my students, they become highly engaged in the activity. They have fun while learning and applying their mathematical skills towards real life situations. One thing for sure is that students always want to know how they are going to use concepts in the real world. This workshop answers that particular question.