How long will it take you to trick or treat?


It’s Halloween and this is your neighborhood. How long will it take you to trick or treat at every house in your neighborhood?

Possible conversation with students:

  • How long will it take you to get from house to house? You should stay on the sidewalks. You may have to avoid landscaping and cars.
  • How long will it take you to get your candy at each house? (Other trick or treaters could be in your way.  You may have to wait for your friends.)
  • Are you better off going back and forth across the street or going up one side and then back down the other?

Halloween Booritos again this year!

One of my favorite foods is a burrito.  One of my favorite places to get a burrito is Chipotle.  Their food is delicious and environmentally friendly.

For Halloween 2014, Chipotle is running the following promotion and charity drive.  Chipotle is offering $3 burritos to customer who come in dressed in their Halloween costumes after 5 p.m. on October 31st.  Chipotle will donate up to one million dollars to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

Teachers, give your students time to ponder and discuss these questions:

  • How realistic is it for Chipolte to sell one million dollars worth of $3 burritos in one night? 
  • What more information would you like to have to decide if this is even possible?

Vampire bats


Ooooo. Scary!  This is a slightly didactic activity on vampire bats.  We’ve given lots of interesting metric and customary unit facts and asked students to relate those sizes to quantities that they are familiar with.  Simply enjoy the season with this slightly creepy new activity.  … metric and customary units, size and weight comparisons, and blood-sucking bats.

Which is the best deal on candy?

135 pieces for $14.99
90 pieces for $6.99
95 pieces for $9.99
50 pieces for $6.99
150 pieces for $14.24

Clicking on any of the above images will open the image larger in a new window.

We found big mixed bags of candy at really good prices … we think.  

Students are asked to decide which would be the best deal and the worst deal on candy.  They can also create their own mixed bags.  This activity has unit pricing, philosophy of candy collecting, and Excel if you would like to use technology.

Consider starting out the activity three act style: Show kids the pictures, ask them what questions they have.  Settle on “Which bag is the best deal?”  Have them make a prediction.  Provide them with the activity sheet that has the costs and quantities.  Have them work, maybe five minutes of independent think time, so they can generate their own ideas, then five or ten minutes in small groups.  Students can find the best deals either using unit rate cost, number of candies for a dollar, or by scaling up to equivalent dollar amounts (ratio table).  

Giant pumpkins and pie


Let your students marvel at World Record winning giant pumpkins as they use proportions to calculate the quantities of pumpkin puree and the number of pumpkin pies that could be made from one of these giants.  To introduce the task you might show this cool time lapse video of a giant pumpkin from planting to harvest.

Macy’s Star Rewards Points

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Wow! Check out this deal at Macy’s.  For $25 I can join Macy’s Star Rewards program.  I get 10% back in rewards for every dollar I spend.  Its pretty cool that Macy’s gives part of that $25 to charity.  Should you do it?  It seems like free money (or clothes) just for shopping at Macy’s.  Factoring in the $25 enrollment fee, how much do you need to spend at Macy’s to come out ahead? For what total shopping dollar amounts is this a bad deal for the consumer?  What dollar amount must you spend to at least break even?  Can you write a rule that gives the dollars earned at Macy’s after the $25 registration fee for any dollar amount of purchases?