Activities for the Holiday break

New Year's Eve's Times Square Ball - It's a gorgeous ball, covered with Waterford Crystal triangles, shaped as a geodesic icosahedron.  Every New Year's Eve it descends in Times Square to mark the beginning of the new year.  Students take a closer look at this construction and use our drawings to experiment with slicing an icosahedron in order to discover how this shape is formed.

Games are great during the break.

Where should I drop my puck - (3-act activity) Students study our penguin peg board and decide which slot has the greatest potential to score big points? They also find the number of paths from each top slot.

Games with dice - Students calculate the probability of different sums when rolling dice. They look at how the theoretical outcomes compare with the experimental tallies of their dice throws and consider how the sample size affects the closeness of these two probabilities.

Ravensburger huge puzzle - Ravensburger is famous for making gorgeous puzzles.  This one, when finished, is 22 feet long and 6 feet wide. How long would it take you to put all of those 40,320 pieces together?

Largest Lego Set ever - Students make a scatter plot of Lego sets to try to figure out how much this Roman Colosseum set will cost.

Monopoly Junior - Students look at the game board in play and try to decide who is winning and how they can tell. Who has the most expensive properties? the most hotels? the most money?

Lots of puzzle pieces - Brian's puzzle closet has lots of puzzles.  He never throws or gives them away.  Make some guesses about how many pieces are in the closet.  Now add the number of pieces and look for techniques to make the adding easier.

The game GO - In 2016, Lee Se-dol, one of the World's best GO players attempted to play against Google's artificial intelligence GO player, "AlphaGo". In this activity students learn about the ancient East Asian game of GO and try to figure out the number of games possible and who is most likely to win the tournament ... man or machine.

Point of View - Here's a great group, hands-on project. It's an old puzzle but the activity deserves a revisit. We give two straight-on images of my stack of blocks. Can you figure out how many blocks are in my stack?  The least number of blocks that I used?  The most number of blocks that I used?

Monopoly - In the board game, Monopoly, does a property’s distance from GO correlate to its rent when you land on it?

Using Brian’s spread sheet (list of properties, distance from GO, rent and rent with properties), students create scatter plots.  They graph points, draw lines of best fit, find average (X ,Y) values, judge outliers, and make predictions about new properties.

As the teacher, you can choose to assign this activity to be done by hand or to be completed with the tools and skills of manipulating Excel spreadsheets.   (Question 9 on the activity uses property names that are related to our room and school in Newton. You can easily change the document to relate to your room and school.)

The activity: monopoly2021.pdf

For member we have an editable Word docx of the activity, an Excel sheet for students, an Excel sheet for teachers, and solutions for the activity.

     monopoly2021.docx     MonopolyData2021-student's.xlsx

   MonopolyData2021-teacher's.xlsx    monopoly2021-solutions.pdf

CCSS: 5.G., 6.SP.3, 6.SP.5, 8.F.4, 8.SP, S-ID


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