Real life math problems in Guided math groups

How can teachers use real life math problems in Guided math groups?  Let the students help you😉.  Real life has math in every aspect.

For instance, Mrs. Bauer went snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park. The tour left at 7:00AM from the Teton adventure building. Our hotel was 15 minutes away. What time did she have leave to be there in time?  If she wants to stop for tea before that, about how much time should she allow for that stop.  (See real life and my students can’t believe I am cool enough to snowmobile!) Now that is using real life math problems in Guided Math Groups.

Another problem could be this one…

The Yellowstone tour left Victor, Idaho at 7AM. The road trip lasted 1.5 hours from the city of Victor to Yellowstone National Park.  The guided snowmobile tour lasted 7 hours. They saw over 100 bison and one coyote. Then the group had to drive back to Victor. What time did the group arrive back at Victor?

Our group arrived at Old Faithful geyser at 11:55. It had erupted at 10:45. It erupts about every one and a half hours.  What time should it erupt?  How long will the group have to wait?  Do they have time to go eat lunch and come back before it erupts?

Mr. Bauer rented a car 🚗 and drove nine hours to Moab, Utah.  The temperature back at Yellowstone Park was -10•, but the temperature in Moab was 41•. What is the temperature difference?


After giving my students several of these examples, I challenge them to create some.  They have a blast!  It sure is real life.  The students also see the value in the math and a reason to solve it.  These can be shared during large group mini-lessons, guided group lessons, added to tests, or typed up and put in the skills review station as problem solving. I hope this helps you add some real life math problems in guided math groups.