I’m telling you, math is everywhere. I was sorting through a big stack of mail, 95% of which was headed straight for the recycle bin, but before I threw it away I uncovered a few marketing gems that were just screaming “use me for math practice!”. First was a set of postcards, each printed with a different number on the front. Instant flash cards for a 5-year-olds’ quiz on Place Value:
I held up each card and had her read the number aloud. That last one was tricky, but by the 3rd time through our “flash cards” she had it down. Then, into the recycling they went.

You see stuff like this all the time:
We never had Sirius radio so I’m not sure what they want us to “come back to” but regardless of that detail, this useful little card was a nice conversation starter for a quick math problem. If you can get 5 months of Sirius for $25, how much do you pay per month? How much would it cost for 1 year? This is good practice skip-counting for a kindergartener.

Before you throw away your next pile of junk mail (er, I mean, direct mailings), take a quick look at what’s there and see if you can come up with a mini-math lesson. Among all the grocery flyers, sale announcements, credit card solicitations, special offers, coupon books, and donation requests, I’m positive you’ll find some numbers to talk about with your children regardless of age.  And maybe now you can feel a tiny bit better about all those direct marketing pieces the postal service works hard to deliver six days a week before you toss them in the trash! π

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