Powerball jackpot continues to rise in value

One winner last night in New Jersey!  Now the jackpot is back to ONLY 40 million.

The Saturday night Powerball drawing is expected to have a winning Jackpot prize of $415,000,000.


Examine compound probability to decide if playing Powerball is worth it.  Check out this amazing Powerball Simulator with your class, it should be a powerful way to show kids the reality of the lottery.  See our activity on Powerball and probability below.

The activity: Powerball2016.pdf

Mother’s Day

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Here is a Mother's Day Infographic from 2012. We have blacked out the estimated amount spent each year for Mother's Day.   Use the Mother's Day event to engage your students in approximating, reasoning, and investigating as students estimate how much is spent in the United States for Mother's Day.

There's a lot to consider and that's exactly what we hope you will get your students to do.

For what is money spent?
For whom is money spent?
What is a low guess?
What is a high guess? ...

Ask students to list information that they might need and let them wrestle with the various questions before you offer some useful pieces of information.

Double Discount

HoodieCodeDontMelt   Wow, check out this sale!  I'm gonna be able to get this great hoodie so cheap!   If I use the promo code what will be the total percent off?

The activity: DoublePercentOff.pdf

CCSS: 6RP.3, 7.RP.3, HSF.IF.C.8b, HSF.LE.A.1c

Will college be affordable?


Widener Library, Harvard

Whether you or one of your siblings is going off to college next fall, it is useful to know how much colleges cost.  Not going to college this fall? No worries, we can use the information on college costs in the activity to predict the cost of college in the future. After completing this activity you will have a better idea of how much four years of college could cost you!

How did they figure these tips?


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Act I:  This restaurant bill has the suggested tips, but they are smudged out.  What should they be?  Consider having students make a fast 5 to 10 -second prediction in their heads.

Act II:  Students work - for few minutes on own, then with partners. Have groups or partners share how you figured these out.  No need to have every group share, focus on, and compare and contrast, or connect a few different student strategies.

Act III:  Reveal the un-smudged receipt.  How did they figure the tip ... before or after the tax?  Why does it matter?

Earth Day and Passover

This is going to be another great week of events.  Friday, April 22nd, is both Earth Day and the beginning of Passover.

BlueMarbleThe Blue Marble - Students compare maps with this famous photo and check to see which characteristics are maintained in each sort of mapping (Mercator, Goode homolosine, Gall–Peters, Winkel tripel) and which characteristics are distorted.

Start your class with a wonderful movie (produced by the Overview Institute) that shows the Earth as it was seen for the first time from space and the impact of that view.

Cost of light bulbsbulbs - Students learn more about LED and CFL light bulbs as they analyze and graph their energy use and costs of lights and appliances.  Students use decimals operations, order of operations, graphing, systems and piecewise functions in this activity to help them think about ways to conserve the energy that they use.