Giant macaroon nutcracker


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Each year the Boston Ballet highlights the season with the Nutcracker ballet.  Last year at the Boston Ritz Carlton Hotel, Chef Andrew Yeo and his pastry team, created a gorgeous and massive Nutcracker cake of macaroons and fondant to celebrate the event.  We have two activities about this amazing creation below.

First we have a traditional worksheet dealing with ratio, volume, surface area and ingredient quantities.  A second, 3-act activity is offered below the first.

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 relationship between number of workers and time to complete the whole job. They graph hyperbolas and consider how long the extreme condition of zero people raking might take to complete the job.  Here is link to a GeoGebra applet for exploring direct & inverse variation.

The V~o~r~t~e~x


Weather has been extreme in the U.S. lately.  Use this incredible media topic to engage your students in integer subtraction, analysis, understanding, practice and confidence building.

CCSS: 7.NS.1, 7.NS.3, MP2

Black Friday deals


When shopping next Friday, students will be able to add some understanding and analysis to the trip after calculating savings in dollars and percents with this timely investigation.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade


Mighty Morphin Power Ranger will be in this year’s Macy’s 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 even approximate the volume of two parade balloons including Sponge Bob and last year’s new Wizard of Oz balloon. Very fun and very timely with lots of Common Core standards addressed.  Try the whole activity or any of the different tasks in the activity with your class.

Consumer Spending

Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window.

Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window.

We spend a lot of money as consumers in the U.S. In this activity we look at historical data to see if there are any patterns in our spending.  How does our holiday spending show up in these graphs?  What accounts for spikes or drops in spending?  What patterns do you notice?  Which patterns will likely continue and which patterns won’t?   Let the class see, think, wonder and discuss in this timely activity.