Passover macaroons

Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 3rd, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish religion and celebrates the Exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt.

Let your students review fractions in this investigation on halving and tripling the fractional quantities of ingredients in a Passover macaroon recipe. 

Movie tickets over time


We've just updated this activity. In this investigation, Brian looks at the changes in movie ticket prices over the last 30 years. Using his scatter plot (or his data) students analyze rates of change, make predictions about the future ticket costs, guesses about past costs and try to create lines of best fit. 

Chili Con Queso

Act 1: Take a look at the promo at Moe's.  What is the first question that comes to mind?


How much does a 42-gallon jug of Chili Con Queso cost?  How many cups or bowls of Chili Con Queso is that?

Before embarking on the problem solving process, consider asking kids for a best guess, then for a guess that might be too high, and finally for a guess that is probably too low.

Act 2: What information would be useful?  Ask students to consider what info they need to answer these questions.

March Madness is here again

March Madness is the big 68 team college basketball tournament that takes over our TV viewing during the weekends of March. School and office friends are filling out brackets.  Engage your students in  percents as they get excited about March Madness. Is getting a higher seed really an advantage?  Use 30 years of data to help determine for which seeds it makes sense to pick an upset.  Finally, students determine a general strategy for picking games in the first round.

The Perfect bracket

Clicking on this image from will give you a larger, printable bracket in a new window.

What are your chances of picking every game? How does the change from 64 to 65 to now, 68 teams in the field complicate things?  How many brackets would you need to fill out to pick every possibility?  How many reams of paper would you need to print all of those brackets?  Let’s do the math!   Also, check out the video below that explores your odds of picking all games in the tournament perfectly. 

2015 World Cup Cricket


The Cricket World Cup is being played now in Australia and New Zealand.  This is a complex game that seems to be played with enthusiasm and humor.  In this activity students learn about the game; watch a couple of videos on how it is played; calculate the number of matches that must be played; try to reason how to count the matches in a more abstract manner; and decide whether the unusual organization of the matches seems fair.  Tons of good math while learning more about this worldwide game!