# Is 2017 prime?

Every birthday I consider whether I'm in the prime of my life ... like when I was 29 years old.  Will this new year be a prime year?  I hope so.

Don't use Google or Siri or whatever.  Just see if you can figure this out and explain your reasoning.

The activity:  PrimeYear.pdf

CCSS: 4.OA.B.4, 5.NF.B.5.a

# Earth’s Perihelion

On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn't that make this the warmest time of the year?

In this activity students become familiar with the terms perihelion and aphelion as they calculate 1 AU and the perihelion distance in miles and kilometers.  Students decide how much closer we will be to the Sun on January 4th, 2017 then on Earth's aphelion, July 3rd, 2017, and figure out how long it will take to get to the sun leaving now in a school bus, a car, an airplane, a space craft, or in an “n” miles per hour vehicle.

# Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop

On Saturday evening, December 31st, 2016 at 12:59 pm, much of the world will be watching the iconic Times Square Tower's New Year's Eve ball drop 141 feet to the roof of the One Times Square Building in Manhattan, NY.  This will signal the beginning of year 2017 in the Eastern Time zone. The ball has been totally reconfigured 7 times.  Those changes reflect the availability of lighter materials and improved technology.  Share the data in your class and ask what the numbers make your students wonder and what they can observe from the information.

# Pre-winter holiday activities!

Christmas tree lights - Students first guess how many feet of lights would be required to decorate this tree.  The class finds the mean and median of those guesses.  Then they brainstorm and refine their guesses. Lastly they figure out how large a tree would require 1,000 feet of lights. HSG.MG.A.1, MP.1, MP.2, MP.3, MP.4

Holiday movies - Just updated. Students compare the highest grossing Holiday movies of all time.  Rounding, fractions, percents, and choosing the most appropriate graph. 4.OA.3, 4.NBT.3, 6.SP.4, 6.SP.5d

# It’s latke time

In my family it is traditional to eat latkes (Yiddish for potato pancakes) at this time of year.  They are fried in a lot of oil and salted generously.  My mom's latkes were wonderful but they couldn't have been good for you.

I wonder if our present day focus on healthier foods has produced recipes that are better for you than my mom's method was.

# Dark days – Winter solstice

This year's winter solstice will be at 5:44 AM EST on December 21st  (10:44 UTC December 21, 2016). In this geometry/Earth science investigation, we've asked students to question the Earth's latitudinal divisions, recognize its tilt, and appreciate the relationship of these measures and our present dark time of year.

winter-solstice2016.pdf