Earth Day – 12 possible activities

Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day - There is so much to bring to your classroom to support recycling, conserving resources, studying climate change and protecting our planet.

Have you seen more Monarch butterflies lately? - Students read charts, do a little research, and make observations about the decline and resurgence of Monarchs. MP4, 3.MD, 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, 7.EE, 8.EE, HSN

Measuring sea levels -  We've given students a diagram of what the interior of this mechanism contains and asked them to try to decide what its purpose must be. Then we've given them the data that was collected from this place and others globally and asked what they can conclude. 6.RP.3, 7.RP.1, 8.EE.B.5, 8.F.B.4, HSS.ID.C.7, HSF.IF.B.6, MP8

Should I replace my toilets? - I have really old fashioned toilets and I'm trying to figure out if I should invest in saving water.  Can you help me? 8.F.3, 8.F.4, 8.F.5, HSF.IF.B.4, HSF.IF.B.6, HSF.IF.C.7, HSF.IF.C.9, HSF.LE.A.2, HSF.LE.B.5

Passover and Easter are almost here

6 activities!

Peeps - Students estimate the number of Peeps sold each Easter season.  They consider reasonability by making guesses they think might be too high and too low. Students determine necessary info, problem solve and improve their original estimates.  They conduct random samplings of their estimates and compare the mean of their estimates to the actual number of peeps sold each season. 7.SP.1, 7.SP.2, HS, MP1, MP2, MP3

Patriots Day, Tax Day, and the Boston Marathon

So much is happening on April 15th this year!

As families and the news talk about filing taxes on time, it might be an excellent time to deal with where that tax money goes.

  • Debt and Deficit give meaning to what tax dollars pay for. The activity involves reading charts, making comparisons, computing percents and analyzing trends to let students and their families more clearly understand these issues. 5.NBT.B, 6.NS.C, 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, 8.EE.B, HSF.IF, HSF.LE, HSM, HSS.ID, MP4, MP5, MP8

It's also the date of the Boston Marathon this year.

  • How long do you think the Boston 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. 5.MD.1, 6.NS.3, 6.RP.1, 6.RP.2, 6.RP.3, 7.RP.1
  • This activity compares the best short and long distance record speeds as students learn the logic and mechanics of using fractional expressions for the number one to convert meters per second to kilometers per hour, etcetera. How fast can you run? 5.MD.A, 6.RP.A, HSA

How long would it take to build this underground house and pool?

The building of this underground house and pool was presented by Cayote Person and his partner, Mark Lavins, on their youtube channel, "Brave Wilderness." At the business partners post animal and adventure films to promote education and conservation.

Here a man, using very primitive tools, builds this underground home and swimming pool.

  • Watch the movie and then take a wild and crazy guess about how many hours this man must have spent in its creation.
  • Work with your group to devise some ways that you might calculate a more accurate approximation.
  • Be ready to explain your assumptions, method and conclusion to your class.

Greatest March Madness program

We are nearing the finale of this year's March Madness tournament. Which NCAA teams must have the best basketball programs since they consistently do well in this tournament?

Click on this image to see it larger in a new window.

Based on this data, which do you think is the greatest March Madness program ever?

Are baseball games getting longer?

March 28th was opening day for this year's Major League Baseball season. It's a good time for some Major League Baseball math! In this activity students think about how major league game lengths have changed over time. Is there a need to pick up the pace of the game?  Have baseball games been getting longer?  If so, why is that?

Students examine two scatter plots and a line graph to decide how the average length of time for an MLB game has changed and by what rate.  As they analyze the causes for that change they observe the average number of pitchers per game, historically, and how the ratio of foul balls to balls in play has changed.

Before handing out the activity consider starting by asking student how long they think a Major League Baseball game takes to play.  Do they think games are taking longer or are they getting shorter and why?

Here is a great video that you and your class can watch right after the first scatter plot. Just be aware, that at 2:04 in the video, David Ortiz is bleeped out saying "bullsh__".