Exciting lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and reproducibles in a daily blog by teachers
























Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion

By Lindsey Petlak on January 15, 2014
  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Our class experienced math mania when we discovered Math@Work™: Math Meets Fashion by Scholastic. For me, any time you can combine math and fashion, it is a fabulous thing, but even my students (boys included) were pumped up about and glued to this interactive, hands-on, problem-solving math project. Kick off the new year with your students the right way, with the most amazing math lesson you will ever experience!

What is Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion?

Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion is a web series that ties students’ classroom learning to their career aspirations. Remember wondering WHY in the world you were learning math skills and WHAT in the world you were ever going to use them for if you didn’t want to grow up and be a mathematician? Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion has real world examples of awesome careers that use math constantly, even though you might not typically think of them as math-centered careers. Math@Work: Math Meets Fashion is a perfect example illustrating the importance of a variety of math skills used in the fashion industry.

Meet the Cast

  • Teaming industry leaders with students aspiring to have careers in the fashion industry is a genius combination that ties experts with relatable students. 

  • The one, the only, the FABULOUS Tim Gunn (LOVE him!) hosts this webisode, and is joined by fashion experts Diane Von Furstenberg, Manil Suri, and Samantha Black as the fashion experts. 

  • Students Jessalyn, Drew, and Robin are presented with challenges they would actually face as designers. 

  • Scholastic math team member Kimberly Agin helps guide students through their design challenges.


Episode Guide

Part 1: Meet Tim & Diane - Learn about the use of math in the fashion industry and get pumped up for design challenges!

Part 2: Epic Scale - Students solve a multi-step problem using ratio to scale measurements from a drawing to a life-sized sewing pattern.

Part 3: Ready to Budget - In this lesson, students solve a multi-step problem by converting inches to yards and multiplying fractions by whole numbers.

Part 4: Design Division - In this lesson, students solve a problem involving two quantities at different unit prices by dividing fractions.

Part 5: Percent Mark-Ups - In this lesson, students solve a multi-step problem by identifying percent markups of a whole and calculating a final sale price.


Common Core Aligned Lesson Guides

Bring the webisode to life with FREE DOWNLOADABLE Common Core State Standards lesson guides, including teacher-facilitated instruction, student materials, and real-life problem-solving tasks. Scholastic has done the work for you! See each lesson plan for CCSS correlations for grades five through seven. They are challenging, but so engaging and exciting your students won’t want math class to end!

Lesson 1: Epic Scale


Lesson 2: Ready to Budget


Lesson 3: Design Division


Lesson 4: Percent Markups


Make it Work!

Since the free lesson downloads from Scholastic were created for and aligned to fifth through seventh grade CCSS, I decided to follow the sage advice of fashion guru, Tim Gunn, and “Make it work!” for my fourth grade students by modifying the downloads provided. Download my FREE MODIFIED STUDENT ACTIVITIES that mimic the guides from Scholastic (for grades five through seven), but allow you to apply the concepts to younger students. 




Each modified activity challenge page includes:

  • Design challenge problem-solving task

  • Task components broken into multiple steps

  • Work space for each step of the problem

  • QR code allowing students to scan image at home or school and be taken directly to the online webisode


Give Your Students a Voice!

Let your students share their career aspirations by voting on the Math@Work home page, and perhaps future episodes will feature their career of choice!


Get ready to be inspired, buy fabric, measure for patterns, sew like a maniac, and price your fashion masterpieces with the exciting project that brings math to life. With all of the free resources provided by Scholastic and featured in this post, it sould be a breeze to “Make it work!” for you and your students! Please share if you participate in the Math@Work challenge!



1/15 at 1 pm ET
Jeff Kinney & Dav Pilkey come together to create a story smashup!
Watch the Webcast — Enter the Contest

Comments (1)

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
Back to Top