Year: 2013

Is one roll enough?

Students can use the man or the basket as a reference as they try to approximate the size of these gifts and how much wrapping paper will actually be needed. Approximation, surface area, reasoning explanation, and diagraming! An X-box is…

Amazing LEGO Fireman

At the Toys R Us store, I saw an amazing LEGO creation.  He was a life-sized LEGO fireman with a walkie-talkie, an oxygen tank and even an oxygen tank gauge.  He must have taken a long time to build. Let…

Best Sports City

My friend from Boston created this list of cities that had won championships (in the last 10 years) in the four major national leagues. What does this list make you wonder? Which city has the best teams?  How do you…

Nobel prize in physics 2013

François Englert and Peter W. Higgs François Englert and Peter W. Higgs were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass. In 1964, they proposed the theory independently of each other. In 2012,…

Weekend Reading – September

I am an avid blog reader.  I find all sorts of new ideas and am refreshed about ideas that I realized in the past.  It always seems great to get a new or different angle on math ed topics.  Here…

Really old “New Math”

Tom Lehrer is a singer, songwriter, satirist, pianist and mathematician who has written some wonderful songs. In 1959 he wrote a song called “New math”.  At that time, much of mathematics teaching was reoriented.  Parents of elementary school aged children…

How much caffeine?

We stumbled upon this interesting caffeine infographic at visual.ly. Wonderings? How many McDonalds coffees do I need to get the same amount of caffeine that I would get in a Starbucks coffee? What is the whole circle worth?  How do you…

California wildfire

Wildfires are burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park.  In this activity we ask students to examine various maps of this California region, calculate distances using map scales, draw conclusions about the nature of fighting fire here,…

U. S. Open Tennis Tournament

The U.S. Open is about to get underway in New York City.  It is possibly the biggest tennis tournament in the world. We’ve updated our numbers and focused on the prize money.  As students ponder the amounts for various wins,…

Bits, bytes, and nibbles

Clicking on the image will show it larger. I’m not very good at understanding how large my device capacities are and how big the files that I want to download are in comparison.  I decided to practice with the numbers…

Raising the bar

Recovery of the treasure from the 1941 sinking of the S.S. Gairsoppa was recently completed and a huge amount of silver was brought up from the ocean floor.  Let your students get a feel for this adventurous career as they calculate…

Crop circles

In the travel section of our newspaper this week, Wiltshire, England was a recommended destination to see Stonehendge and crop circles  ………..  crop circles? Many of the crop circles in England appear mysteriously overnight.  They are often huge but appear…

Methane math

Carbon dioxide and methane are our two most prevalent human-contributed greenhouse gases.  This holstein cow is one of many huge contributors to our methane production.  Let students calculate percentages of greenhouse gas production from cars, cows, and people.  We’ve got…