Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade, 2016

As we get ready for next week's holiday, students can study a map of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, describe, measure and hypothesize why this route was chosen and then calculate how long each band will be marching and at what time they will arrive at the finish.

Students even approximate the volume of two parade balloons including Angry Bird, Red, and from two year's ago, the Wizard of Oz balloon. Very fun and timely with lots of Common Core standards addressed.  Try the whole activity or any of the different tasks in the activity with your class.

Opening Friday, Fantastic Beasts – What did it cost to make?

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

In 2001, J.K.Rowling (the author of the Harry Potter series) wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie of this book will open on November 18th, 2016.  This will be the first in a series of three movies that are meant to take place 70 years before the Harry Potter series began.

"Beasts" is produced by David Heyman, the same producer that created the other Potter movies.

In this activity students use the average cost of making a Harry Potter movie to estimate the cost of creating the "Beasts" movie. The task is open, in that it asks students to analyze central tendency, using either median, mode or mean.  Which is the best predictor of the cost of making this new movie?  

Shrinking Toblerone

New York Times photo

New York Times photo - Credit Darren Staples/Reuters 

They changed it.  That is so not fair ... or is it? You can check out a video news story on the delicious shrinking Toblerone bar here.

Two sizes of Toblerone bars are now configured differently.  How much did they lop off? How much did the price per gram of chocolate change? Is the price per gram still the same, if not how might you adjust the price of the products to make it fair? 

Veterans Day


As Veterans Day approaches, let your students learn about and appreciate the meaning of the day by analyzing the powerful data that we’ve supplied.

Students can use our numbers to create questions for their classmates … questions that can emphasize the tremendous gift of all those who have served in our armed forces.

4 Election activities

electoralcollege101Is the system of having an Electoral College unfair? - Students consider how districting can effect the Electoral college vote.  6.RP, 7.RP

forpresient2036How much will you make when you are President? - The President's salary does not change from year to year.  With the Consumer Price Index (CPI) students consider what the President's salaries are actually worth in today's dollars.  They predict their own salary if they were to become president.  6.SP.4, 6.SP.5, 7.RP.3, 7.EE.4, 8.F.4, 8.F.5, HSA.REI, HSF.IF.4

270towinElectoral College versus the Popular vote - Students work on the relative size of each state's Electoral College vote numbers and how they are derived.  6.EE, 7.RP.A, 8.EE, HSG.MG.A, MP.4

popwinnerloseselecvoteIs the Electoral College vote similar to the Popular vote?  The winner of the Presidential Popular vote (November 8, 2016) is not always the same as the winner of the Electoral College vote (January 6, 2017). In this activity students ponder how that could happen ... with data. 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, HSF, HSS.ID.A