At one of the EAL (English as an Additional Language) professional development workshops I attended last year, the speaker discussed how useful "junk mail" could be for teaching maths. She had us look at a flyer for a local grocery store and come up with different ways of how it could be used in our maths class. Going on this trend, I decided to use a Woolworth's flyer to create an application activity for decimal place value, addition and subtraction.
I can always tell the success of a lesson based on the engagement level of the students in my class and throughout this activity, all students had their heads down and were working diligently with their partners. First, they were asked to find the prices of ten different items in the flyer. Next, they had to organise the items from the most expensive (number with the greatest value) to the least expensive (number with the lowest value). The third thing students had to do was purchase as many of the items as they could with a $10 budget. This required students to both add decimals to create a total and subtract decimals to see how much money was left in their budget.
A very simple activity to create and students were able to improve their skills with ordering and comparing decimals as well as decimal addition and subtraction!