Big Bucks


Giancarlo Stanton and Wayne Rooney

Giancarlo Stanton and Wayne Rooney signed big contracts recently, paying each of them millions.  Lets take a look at some of the world's biggest sports contracts from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and European Football (what Americans call soccer).  We often hear about big player contracts, sometimes over 100 million or even 200 million dollars!  But who makes the most per year?  In this activity, with a twist on unit rate, students find the average pay per year or "unit rate of pay" for a collection of highly paid athletes. Students think about unit rate, proportionality, slope and the relationship between multiplication and division.

Getting a new iPhone – which plan should I choose?

Just corrected.  Thank you, Jason Kibbe!

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I want to get an iPhone7 and maybe change my service plan.  Which of the above plans should I choose?

Student pick one plan and consider the cost of the phone and plan over time.  They make tables, graphs and equations.  Consider allowing students to begin playing with the task without much initial instruction. Guide them with good questioning and teach after they have had time to grapple with these questions and construct new ideas.

Civil rights marches, how do you count a crowd?

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On October 16, 1995, perhaps a million black men gathered for the Million Man March on Washington.  This was 32 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historic "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial to 250,000 civil rights supporters.

The National Park Service, who is responsible for overseeing the logistics of having a rally on the Mall, estimated that only 400,000 men had attended.  This was widely disputed at the time.  Since then the NPS no longer estimates crowd size but how do you count a crowd?

Possible activities in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr

Time lines for life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. - Two timelines that show the rate and spacing of progress.

  • One timeline about events and accomplisments of Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Second timeline about the progress made in America, so far, towards racial balance and equal opportunity

3.MD, 4.MD, 5.MD, 6.RP, 6.G,  7.RP, 7.G

Data on the National Mall sites - Two data analysis activities about the National Mall.

  • Who we honor - Students look at the individuals who are memorialized on the National Mall and, using fractions or percents, decide what they can notice about those we honor.
  • Monuments most visited - Analysis of the visitor statistics of the National Mall and make observations.

3.NF.1, 6.RP.3, 7.NS.3

The Star Wars phenomena continues

Rogue One has only recently come out and grossed nearly 300 million dollars in its opening weekend.

We were curious about how often and how profitable the Star Wars movies have been.  So we gathered data on each movie's budget and earnings and posed an open-ended question.  How do the Star Wars movies compare?

Consider this: Start with only the first page of the activity sheet.  Have kids look at the data and ponder these questions: What does this data make you wonder? What would you like to find out? How do you suppose that I should calculate the profit that these companies made from the movies? What other factors should I try to account for in creating profit amounts that I could compare?

Home team advantage?

Even before your students check out the graphic below, ask them whether they think a game played at home gives their team an advantage.  If so, how much of an advantage?  Enjoy the discussion first.  Then show the graphic.

Home Cookin

Graphic from: - Graphic created by Sports Data LLC.