How much should you spend at this sale?

This activity can be used in a large range of grade levels.  Your class can work on percents, linear equations or piecewise functions.

Act One: We missed the semi-annual sale but we want to get ready for the next one.  Let’s figure out how much we could save.

Coupon fron the gap.com Shop the Gap

What questions do you have?

Act Two:  What amounts make sense to spend up to get the best deal?  What purchase amounts do not make sense to make?  Try shopping the gap with your students and apply the  appropriate discount yourself.

Find your cost for the items in this pdf.        Discounts.pdf

Note to teachers: In this sale, if you spend \$75 you get 30% off, but if you spend \$25 more, getting up to \$100 you save 30%.  If you spend \$124 you also get 30% off.  Anything \$125 or more is 40% off.

Create a graph with the value of your purchase on the x -axis (before this discount) and what you actually pay on the y-axis (after discount).  How does this graph help you see which price points are the best deal?

Act Three: Word doc, solutions and graphs.  A great way to sum up the lesson is to ask kids… “if you are going to buy \$74 worth of clothes then you might as well buy \$______ worth of clothes.”

CCSS:6.RP.3, 7.RP.3, 8.F.4, 8.F.5, HSF-LE.B.5HSA-CED.A.3

19. May 2013 by oldmanmarks
Categories: Algebra, Data and Probability, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is college affordable?

Widener Library, Harvard University

It’s that time of year again. Students are applying and hopefully getting accepted to college. Students are also graduating and moving on from 12th, 8th or 5th grade to new schools in the fall. Whether you or one of your siblings is going off to college next fall, it is useful to know how much, on average, colleges cost. Not going to college this fall? No worries, we can use the information on college costs in the activity to predict the cost of college in the future. After completing this activity you will have a better idea of how much four years of college could cost you!

How_Much_Will_College_Cost.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc, an Excel sheet showing graphs and calculations, a labeled but blank graph for your students to use, and solutions.

How_Much_Will_College_Cost-solution.pdf

CCSS:  7.RP, 7.EE, 8.EE, 8.F, 8.SP, A-CED, A-REI

15. May 2013 by Oldmanmarks and Leslie
Categories: Algebra, Data and Probability, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Triple Crown

Joel Rosario riding Orb

May 18th will be the running of the Preakness thoroughbred horse race. The Preakness is the second race of the Triple Crown. Hopefully we’ll see the horse, Orb, win the Preakness and get a chance to run for the Triple Crown. No horse has won the Triple Crown since 1975. It’s been a long time.

Involve your students in this soon-to-be event while reviewing fractions, calculating miles per hour and miles per minute of horse racing, and learning about the measures of “hands” and “furlongs”.

triple-crown2013.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc and solutions.

CCSS: 5.NF, 6.RP, 6.EE, 7.RP, 7.EE

11. May 2013 by Leslie
Categories: Algebra, Data and Probability, Holidays and Annual Events, Number Sense, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How much do we spend for Mother’s Day?

Use the Mother’s Day event to engage your students in approximating, reasoning, and investigating.  Brian has asked students to estimate how much is spent in the United States for Mother’s Day.

There’s a lot to consider and that’s exactly what we hope you will get your students to do.

For what is money spent?
For whom is money spent?
What is a low guess?
What is a high guess? …

Ask students to list information that they might need and let them wrestle with the various questions before you offer some useful pieces of information.

Student activity:   How_much_does_America_spend_for_Mother’s_Day.pdf

CCSS: 5.NBT.5 , 6.RP, 7.RP, 7.SP, HSS.IC , Mp.1 , MP.2

For members we have an editable Word doc and solutions.

Or you could use our previous activity which is more traditional and has good questions about averages, percents,and large numbers as students analyze the statistics on Mother’s Day spending. Teachers could even ask students to do their calculations in scientific notation to add an extra dimension to this activity.

06. May 2013 by oldmanmarks
Categories: Data and Probability, Holidays and Annual Events, Math and Social Studies, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank your mother and father for all of those diapers.

Which is a better deal, cloth or disposable diapers?  How much did you cost your parents in diapers?  In the future how much could your kid’s diapers cost?

It’s time to celebrate Mother’s Day and then Father’s Day.  Help students realize all that mom and dad went through in buying and changing diapers.  Students will compare the cost of buying disposable versus cloth diapers. They estimate how much they cost their parents in diapers and consider how much they will spend on diapers when they have a baby. This is a great math activity for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or during the study of linear equations and introduction to systems of equations.

There is quite a bit of scaffolding built into the activity for students who might have limited experience with linear relationships and equation writing.  Depending on the experience of your students you might reduce the amount of work in the tables or omit some of the questions in this part of the lesson.

This activity gives the opportunity for students to engage in CCSS math practices 7 and 8 (see structure & express regularity in repeated reasoning).  As kids find diaper costs for various months, focus on what math they are doing over and over again, regardless of the time period.

If you would rather make this more of an open ended problem based learning task, simply give students the first page of the activity.  It has all the necessary info, but the path to determining the better deal will me more ambiguous.  By using the activity in this way, students can engage more in MP1, MP2 and MP4.  You can then go back and give some of the follow up questions later separately.

The original activity was written by and shared with us by Andy Fehlner, 8th grade algebra teacher in Newton, MA. Thanks for sharing this timely activity with us, Mr. Fehlner!

Want to see student work?  The Blog: “Teaching Math Rocks” changed the title of the activity for High School students and they have provided student work samples.

diapers2012.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc, an Excel sheet and graph, and solutions.

CCSS: 6.EE.9, 7.EE.4, 8.F.2, 8.F.4, 8.EE.8, HS.F-IF.8.B, HS.F-LE.2, HS.F-LE.5, MP7 , MP8

05. May 2013 by Oldmanmarks and Leslie
Categories: Algebra, Holidays and Annual Events, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Most of the life cycle of the Magicicada Septendecim is spent underground.  Then at 17 year intervals, these cicadas emerge from the ground, climb deciduous trees, molt into adults, mate, lay eggs, and die.

Why does the 17 year interval help this species survive?

In this activity students learn about the length of a life cycle and why a large prime number makes an excellent survival technique.

Besides the prime number notes, this 5 minute movie is great for teaching students to command cicadas to move this way or that.  Lots of fun.

For members we have an editable Word doc and solutions.

CCSS: 4.OA.4, 6.NS.4

01. May 2013 by Leslie
Categories: Algebra, Math and Science, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who had the greatest NBA season ever?

Some of the greats, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson

Who had the greatest NBA season of all time?  Which player contributed the greatest amount of offensive production to their team?  Who was the most valuable?

Brian gives weight to the various elements of each of these player’s best seasons to create a model for analyzing the skills of these terrific players.  Use our formula or allow students to create their own weighted model to analyze the greatest player ever and be able to calculate how these players rank in their best seasons.  We have provided, arguably, the best season stats for Jordan, Johnson, Bird, O’Neal, Bryant, James and Anthony.  Consider having your students research other great players, past or present.  Stats for NBA players can be found at basketball-reference.com

Also, consider adding LeBron James MVP winning 2012 – 13 season to the mix.  His per game averages: points: 26.8, assists: 7.3, rebounds: 8.0, blocks: 0.9, steals: 1.7 and turnovers: 3.0

Students work with order of operations, expressions, formulas and the distributive property as they consider different ways to write or compute with our formula.

How many different ways might your students write the expression:

Total Offensive Production = p + (2.1)a + (1.05)r + (1.05)b + (1.05)s + (-1.05)t

This is also an excellent time to introduce formula use in Excel to your classes.  Enjoy!

The Activity: best-NBA-season-ever.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc, an Excel file, and solutions.

CCSS: 5.OA.1 , 5.NBT.7 , 6.NS.3 , 6.EE.2 , 6.EE.3 , 6.EE.6 , 7.EE.1 , 7.NS.3, MP.4 , MP.7

Special Thanks to John Tague, [ @jtague252http://lefthandededucator.blogspot.com/ ] for his help and feedback prior to the post of this activity!

28. April 2013 by oldmanmarks
Categories: Algebra, Data and Probability, Number Sense, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iphone 5

This is only part of the infographic published and copywrited by AVALAUNCH MEDIA.  We’ve left off the solution of this graphic so that your class can come to their own range of iPhone5 costs. To see the full graphic go here.

When you look at the infographic what do you see?  What does it make you think?  What do you wonder?

You might have heard that you can get an iPhone 5 for as little as a couple hundred bucks, but is that all it really costs?  What is the real cost of an iPhone 5?  If I want to upgrade from my non-smart phone to the iPhone 5, how much will it cost me?  Which iPhone 5 should I get?  Which provider offers the best long term value?

The Activity: iPhone-cost2.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc, solutions, and an Excel data sheet.

Also check out AVALAUNCH MEDIA’S Solution

CCSS: MP1 , 5.NBT.5 , 6.RP.2 , 7.NS.3 , 7.RP.3 , 8.F.4 , 8.EE.8

Here are some additional activity ideas:

8.EE.8 T-Mobile recently started charging \$580 for the iPhone 5.  For service you get unlimited talk and text and they charge \$50 a month for 500 megabytes, 2 gigabytes  is \$60 or unlimited use is \$70 a month.  How do these deals compare to those of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint (consider comparing for 1 year, 2 years or more than 2 years)? This could be an interesting way to explore or intro systems of equations.

7.SP.8 Using just the data in the infographic how many different ways can I purchase (capacity and contract or no contract) and sign up for service (plans from three different companies) with an iPhone 5?  6 x 7 = 42

8.F and HS.F We just learned from the prior example that in the infographic alone there are 42 different ways to buy and have service for an iPhone 5.  Have students randomly pick anyone of them to graph.  Students should graph the cost of the phone and their plan over 12 months.  The cost of the phone is the y-intercept and the monthly cost of the plan is the slope.  Have kids hold off on revealing which combination phone/plan they graphed.  Have other students or the entire class figure out which combinations are modeled in each  graph.  This can be done in groups,  a gallery walk or sharing at the ELMO.  This offers a relevant context for linear relationships.

HSF-LE Want to get into exponential models?  It has been said that the iPhone keeps about 63% of its value after a year.  If that rate of depreciation continues over the life of the iPhone find the value of the 64 GB iPhone 5 after 1, 2, 3 and 4 years.  According to your model when will the phone be worthless?

24. April 2013 by oldmanmarks
Categories: Algebra, Data and Probability, Movies and Entertainment, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Jackie Robinson

The movie “42″ is the story of Jackie Robinson, a baseball player who became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball since the game was segregated in the 1890’s. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him in April, 1947.  He contributed to the civil right’s movement and paved the way for African-Americans to be accepted into professional sports.  He went on to have a great ten year career in Major League Baseball and was later inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.  Due to his time in the military and segration, Robinson did not play MLB until he was 28 years old.  He missed some of the prime years of his career.

In this activity we consider how many hits and homeruns Jackie might have had if he had begun his MLB career at the age of 20.  We also take a look at the value of his first baseball card and speculate how much the card will be worth in the future.  See the activity, CCSS correlation and the trailer for “42″ below.

Remembering_Robinson.pdf

For members we have an editable doc, an excel chart, and solutions.

CCSS: 6.SP.3, 6.EE.9, 7.EE.3, 7.EE.4, 8.F.4, HSF-LE.A.2HSF-LE.A.3, MP.1, MP.3, Mp.4

Thanks to Brad Heintz from Tippecanoe Valley Middle School, Akron, Indiana, for the idea of this post.

20. April 2013 by oldmanmarks
Categories: Algebra, Math and Social Studies, Movies and Entertainment, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

True cost of lights bulbs

Last year the House of Representatives voted to withhold funding to enforce a law that was passed in 2007 and increases efficiency standards for light bulbs.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the cost to consumers of CFL and LED bulbs and the savings in energy and money that could be realized.
Let your students “do the math” and realize some of the profit that could be made by changing our ways.

CCSS: 5.NBT.1, 5.NBT.4, 7.NS.3

For members we’ve created answers and teacher suggestions below.

18. April 2013 by Leslie
Categories: Algebra, Data and Probability, Math and Science, Math and Social Studies, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Opening weekend

Hunger Games and the Avengers are recent popular movies that have made a ton of money during their opening weekend at the box office .  Can you tell from its opening weekend how the movie will do in the long run?

This activity can be used anytime and is especially timely when there is a new blockbuster movie released.  We originally created this activity for the Hunger Games, but we’ve left blank spaces in our chart for students to add their favorites or for future movies. The data for this activity can be found at: boxofficemojo.com.  Just click on any movie and look for this info:

In this activity we are using the “Opening Weekend” amount and comparing that to “Total Lifetime Gross (Domestic).”  Your students might also like to use this activity to predict how much money the Avengers (\$207,500,000 opening weekend in US) will make at theaters.

This activity is accessible for any student who can plot points on a grid, so it could be used for students as young as 4th graders.  Older students can create a line of best fit and equation to model the data and make predictions.  By plotting and analyzing the data students decide if they can, in fact, predict the future.

The Activity: Opening-Days2.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc, solutions, and an Excel data sheet with the chart.

CCSS: 6.SP, 7.SP, 8.EE, 8.SP.1 , 8.SP.2 , 8.SP.3 , S-ID

16. April 2013 by Leslie
Categories: Data and Probability, Movies and Entertainment | Tags: , , , , , | 2 comments

The Blue Marble

This video was produced by the Overview Institute to explain the effect of seeing the Earth from space. From space the Earth is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in the void, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.
Clicking on this image will show you a larger image that is expandable.

In honor of Earth Day we encourage you to show your classes the beauty of the Earth and remind everyone of one of the first times that it was entirely seen from space, December 7, 1972 on an Apollo mission. This activity studies the mapping of a 3-d Earth to a 2-d piece of paper, a comparison of the mappings with this famous photo, and a look at various mapping projections.

BlueMarble.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc and our solution.

This activity could be a starting or finishing place for a classroom attempt at drawing our continents and oceans on an orange and then trying to create a flat representation of that 3-d construction by peeling it. Let students figure out what problems occur in that translation.

Or for Earth Day you could use one of our two previous posts having to do with conservation and recycling; Fat Tuesday or Light Bulbs.

CCSS:  6.G, 7.G, HSG-GMD.B, HSG-MG.A

14. April 2013 by Leslie
Categories: Geometry, Holidays and Annual Events, Math and Science | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Patriots’ Day

Monday, April 15th is the official holiday this year to remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War 238 years ago in 1775. (The actual date was April 19th, 1775) Both Paul Revere and the British regulars started moving towards Concord between 10pm and 11pm on the 18th of April. In this investigation, students calculate the rates of

• The British crossing from Boston to Cambridge by boat
• Paul Revere riding from Boston to Lexington
• The British marching throughout the night to Lexington and Concord.

Students will appreciate what a difficult night and morning all of the soldiers experienced as they analyze how long, at what rates, and when soldiers were traveling.

By clicking on this map, you can get a larger map to show your class.

April19th.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc and solutions.

CCSS: 6.RP, 6.EE, 7.RP

10. April 2013 by Leslie
Categories: Algebra, Holidays and Annual Events, Math and Social Studies, Number Sense | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Season 12, American Idol

Let your student study American Idol viewing figures over the last eleven seasons. Students compare historical season premier and season finale audience size in several different ways to determine which event has had higher viewership. They consider outliers and judge the reliability of the mean and median. Finally, students plot data in order to predict future viewership and make season twelve predictions.  Which has been more popular, the premiere or finale?

Season twelve premiered on January 16th and the finale will be on May 23rd.  This activity will be timely for a while. Enjoy!

This activity should be accessible to students as young as 4th grade.  This is one of the few real life math activities that we have seen in which students create box plots (box and whisker plots).  Students use box plots to analyze the premiere and finale data.  They can make their plots by hand or use technology at Interactivate’s Free Box Plot Application.

season12-idol.pdf

For members we have an editable Word doc, an Excel data and graph file, and solutions.

CCSS: 6.SP.2, 6.SP.3, 6.SP.4, 6.SP.5, 7. SP.3 , 7.SP.4, 8.SP.1

07. April 2013 by Oldmanmarks and Leslie
Categories: Data and Probability, Holidays and Annual Events, Math and Art, Number Sense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Based on this data, which do you think is the greatest March Madness program ever?

Once students decide their “best program ever” challenge them use a different criteria than they originally used.  That is, ask them to think of another way to determine the best program ever.  There are lots of ways to think about it.  No one way is the only way or the correct way.  The point is to get students reasoning and communicating mathematically.  Check out the activity below: