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!  

For Saint Patrick’s Day


chicago_river_2008Green, green river - During the St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago, the local plumbers" uniondyes the Chicago River emerald green.  Students learn what PPM (parts per million) means and  attempt to figure out how much dye is used to sufficiently color the river.

CCSS: 5.MD, 6.RP, 6.G, 7.RP, 7.G

shamrock_shakeShamrock shake - For Saint Patrick's Day add a little nutrition math to your celebration.  In this post we look at calories, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins to decide what would be left for our day's meal allotment after we had lunch and a Shamrock Shake at McDonald's.

It’s Girl Scout cookie time … again


Have you ever wondered how the income from Girl Scout cookie sales is distributed to the individual girls, to their Troops, or to the organization? In this activity students learn a little about the organization of the Girl Scouts, try to draw a diagram to represent how all of the organizational components are related, compare the price per ounce of Girl Scout cookies to national brands and work out what percent and what dollar amount of each box of cookies is contributed to the the various segments of the Girl Scouts program.

3.14/15 = Pi Day, 2015

March 14th is almost here. Many people think this year is even more special since the date could written to show the first 5 digits of π.

Celebrate π in your school and in your math class with activities that demonstrate how π was derived; visually show why π makes sense; show a surprising place where π is used; increase students ability to measure and long divide; applauds the talent of people who can memorize large strings of numbers; and lets students just have fun.

Iditarod 2015


The Iditarod dog sled race begins officially in Anchorage, Alaska on March 7th and then restarts in Fairbanks two days later.  There is so much mathematics in this race that our activity feels totally insufficient.  Mushers and their dog teams travel by day and night and, in their quest to win, have very little time to rest. But, perhaps the activity will raise interest and encourage students to find out more and bring their research to class.

We've dealt with reading charts, calculating speed, calculating present value, and considering daylight hours of travel.

But, who will win? With how many dogs left? After how many days? Through what conditions? Through what mishaps and challenges? The list goes on ...