Never-ending pasta


On September 8, 2014, Olive Garden offered a $100 pass for never-ending pasta and Coca Cola soft drinks.  The 1,000 patrons who quickly bought up the passes will be entitled to as much pasta as they like (with toppings) from Sept. 22 to Nov. 9. The pasta pass sold out in 45 minutes.  Consider starting out the activity with the video at the bottom of this post.  Then ask the class to consider these questions.

  • Is this a good deal for patrons?  What are the pros and cons?
  • Will Olive Garden go broke?
  • Is this good for the restaurant chain?
  • Is the pass priced correctly?  If not how much should it cost?
  • How should we start answering these questions?  What information would be useful?

Cell phone plans


Its time to go get the latest iPhone.  Which of the above plans will you choose?  Should you sign a 2-year contract on one of the above plans to get the iPhone for $200?  Or should you go through T-Mobile, pay $648 for the phone and $60 a month for 3 GB of data?

This lesson makes a great intro to linear relationships.  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 direct instruction.  Guide them with good questioning and teach after they have had time to grapple with these questions and construct new ideas.

Fall equinox

Tuesday, September 23, 2013 is the Autumnal Equinox.  It is the time of year when the imaginary plane that might pass through the Earth’s Equator would also travel through the center of the Sun.  At this auspicious moment the number of sunlight hours and night time hours are about the same all over the Earth and in the Northern Hemisphere we move into the Fall season.

Fantasy Football

In the midst of another NFL season, we introduce students to Fantasy Football. Students first calculate football points given touchdowns, yardage gains and interceptions. They are then challenged to generalize an equation for that gives a player’s total fantasy points. Students solve equations as they try to find the number of passes, touchdowns, or interceptions that yield given point totals.  Students can also compete in their own fantasy football competition within the class.  This lesson is ideal for teachers that want to work on equations with their students or for a group of football fans.  

Saffron and paella

paellaIn order to cook Paella (a delicious Spanish rice dish) I needed to buy Saffron spice.  It was hugely expensive.  So, I’ve decided to start a business of growing saffron and becoming immensely wealthy.

crocus sativus

crocus sativus – Clicking on this image will open it larger in a new page.