Algebra

These posts help students see patterns and relationships.

Saving Wrapping Paper?

Activity just updated – now there are two different sized boxes to wrap! Dr. Sara Santos is a popular mathematician and speaker on mathematics.  She has worked out a method for wrapping boxes (rectangular prisms) as efficiently as possible. (Watch…

Soda Santa

Happy Holidays! This Soda Santa is made up entirely of 12-pack cans of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out the activity by giving kids 30 seconds to look at the picture and have them take a quick…

Christmas tree lights

Check out the Christmas Tree.  You are heading out to the store to get lights for the tree.  Without calculating, guess how many feet of lights you will need. What information do you need to better estimate the number of…

How much does a Lego cost?

This is a three act task, with an activity guide.  Show students the act one video.  What questions do they have?  How much could the Star Wars kit cost?  Follow the  activity guide, find costs based on the cost of…

Done with the leaves … now for the snow

Brian has spent too much time analyzing his leaf raking. He has created an investigation that asks students to calculate how long it would take different numbers of rakers to finish cleaning his yard of leaves. Students see the inverse…

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade

Students study a map of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, describe, measure and hypothesize why this route was chosen.   Then they calculate how long each band will be marching and what time they will arrive at the finish. Students…

Not enough mashed potatoes

Using his famous mashed potato recipe, Brian has asked students to change decimals to fractions, to calculate ingredient measures for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings, to explain their thinking in calculating these figures and to judge how many servings could be created…

Rush or Pass?

With only 16 games in an NFL regular season every game and every play is crucial.  Teams need to win each week or jobs are on the line. To win you have to score points.  Points translate to wins. So…

How much should you spend on 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…

Nobel Prizes

This is the medal that is given to the Nobel prize winners.  Check it out. (Teachers, you could get into Roman numerals right here.)       LittleRomanNumeralLesson.pdf What do you know about the Nobel Prize?  Who do you know who has…

Big Burger

Time to treat the kids to ratios, proportions, fractions and BIG BURGERS! In this activity students explore the ratio of the various ingredients in the world’s largest burger (pictured above & in the video below). Students apply this ratio of ingredients to…

Halloween and October activities

How many houses can you get to – It’s Halloween. Time to trick or treat.  How long will it take you to get to all of these houses?  This is a very open ended task, counting, trick or treating strategies, distance and…

Making a ghost costume

I’m going to make a costume pattern to sell.  People can buy my plan and make awesome, long, full, scary, ghost costumes.  This scheme will be so simple.  Perhaps I’ll get rich! In this activity young students can reason about…

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…

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…