The Boston Marathon

That's Jerry, my nephew, running and waving.

Monday, April 18, Patriot's Day, is the next running of the Boston Marathon.

  • What do you know about marathons?
  • What do you know about the Boston Marathon?
  • How long do you think the marathon is? Make your best guess.
  • How many people run it? Make your best guess.
  • Make an educated guess as to the fastest marathon time.  

We've gathered a lot of great data and asked some sensible and some surprising rate questions.  Enjoy the conversation of page 1 of the activity as a class task and then set your students to work calculating the rest.

David Price, big bucks per …


David Price, a 30-year old pitcher from Toronto's Blue Jays, was hired with a 7 year contract to be the Red Sox's new ace pitcher for $217 million dollars.  That is the largest amount ever offered to a pitcher.  But pitchers don't play every game.  And even when they play they usually don't play for the whole game.  How much will David Price really be making per season? per game? per start? per pitch?

Figuring planting dates


It's time to get ready to plant my garden again.  But here in Boston we have to start our seeds indoors to give them a head start before we can put plants outside. How should I figure out when to plant my vegetable and flower seeds indoors so that those little plants will be ready to go outside after the frost-free date?

The seed package tells me how many weeks early to plant seeds indoors and how long the seeds will take to sprout but this sure seems like a lot of counting backwards to figure out when I should plant my seeds here in Boston.

This activity introduces students to the use of the computational power of a spreadsheets to easily count the time between two dates.

Which is the best deal?


Clicking on any of these 2 For 1 deals will show the image larger in a new window.

How do you calculate and justify which deal is a better savings?  By dollars saved?  By percent saved? By some other measure?

The activity: WhichDealOffersMostValue.pdf

CCSS: 4.OA, 4.NBT, 4.MD.A, 5.NBT, 6.RP, 6.EE, 7.RP, 7.EE.A

April Fool’s Day perplexors

We have two classic puzzles for your April 1st class starters.



PerplexingOne.pdf      PerplexingTwo.pdf

CCSS: MP.1, MP3,4.OA, 5.G, 8.EE, 8.SP

For members we have solutions.

PerplexingOne-solution.pdf     PerplexingTwo-solution.pdf

Or you might baffle and amaze your students with our Ghost Whisperer lesson.  They will think you are pulling one over on them until they figure out the math!

Another great April Fool's day activity would be Robert Kaplinsky's Foil Prank.