Earth Day 2021

Thursday, April 22nd is Earth Day - We have 15 interesting activities that support recycling, conserving resources, noticing climate change and protecting our planet.

The shape of Louisiana - At what rate is the state loosing land and wetland?  Why is this happening?  Will Louisiana ever just disappear? 5.MD, 6.RP.A, 6.GA,  7.RP.A, HSF.IF, HSA.CED, HSM

Weather extremes - Use the open number line and our lists of temperature extremes to make signed number operations and absolute value sensible.  Students compare record high and low temps (integers) and use absolute value in order to always find the positive difference.  Subtraction of negatives becomes obvious in this lesson.6.NS.5, 6.NS.6, 6.NS.7,  7.NS.1, 7.SP.3, 7.SP.5

Which car should I buy? Electric or Hybrid - Students create equations for finding the break-even points of these vehicles by mileage and years of ownership.  They then work with systems of equations to find the number of years or number of miles where the cost of these cars are the same.6.SP, 6.RP, 7.RP, 7.SP, 8.SP, 8.EE.C, HSA, HSS.B, HSN

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

Which car, hybrid or electric, should I buy?

We are getting ready for Earth Day!

Should you buy a hybrid or an electric car to save money and the planet?

Students create equations for finding the break-even points of these vehicles by mileage and years of ownership.  They then work with systems of equations to find the number of years or number of miles where the cost of these cars are the same.

2018 Honda Insight (Hybrid)
MPG: Up to 55 city / 49 highway
MSRP: From $23,725


2018 Honda Civic
MPG: Up to 32 city / 42 highway
MSRP: From $18,940

2018 Nissan Leaf
MSRPFrom $29,990
40 kWh lithium-ion battery

Clicking on any of these images will show them larger in a new window.

Will our U.S. flag change yet again?

U.S. Flag 1777-1790


U.S. Flag 1837 - 1845

U.S. Flag 1859-1861

U.S. Flag 1877-1890

U.S. Flag 1891-1896

U.S. Flag 1960-present

Clicking on any of these flags will show them larger in a new window.

How many stripes are in our present flag pictured above?  (The bottom right flag that has been in use since 1960.)

How many stars?

What do the numbers of stars and stripes represent?

U.S. Congress is again considering whether to grant statehood to Washington D. C. and Puerto Rico.  Our activity is about the possible designs of a new 52-state flag.

Greatest March Madness program

Gonzaga just won the finals of this year's March Madness tournament. They were underdogs. Still, which NCAA teams have had the best basketball programs over the years.  Students decide which stats count towards the "Greatest March Madness Program".  

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

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

Man paid in 500 pounds of greasy pennies!

A man from Georgia, Andreas Flaten, finally received his last paycheck from his disgruntled employer. He had been owed that last check for several months and was having difficulty getting his former employer to pay.  One morning he found a pile of dirty, oil-covered pennies at the end of his driveway.  His past employer had at last met his obligation to Mr. Flaten but in a mean way.

In this 3-act activity, students learn about the story, watch a PowerPoint presentation about the issue and the details of the penny episode. Then they try to reason how much money Mr. Flaten was owed?

Thanks to Maggie Heffernan for the idea for this activity!

Spring and Easter posts

Giant Chocolate Bunnies - What can you deduce about the bunnies (pictured in this activity) from the descriptions given ... solid? hollow? cost per pound? cost per height? Anything else? 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A

Dyeing eggs with food coloring - Students use the chart on the back of a food dye package to compare the divergent recipes listed for coloring a cake mix, icing, and dyeing eggs. They look for and create equivalent ratios and practice using the terms "saturation", "shade", and "hue". 4.NF, 5.NF, 6.RP.A, 7.RP.

Planning to plant seeds - It's time to get ready to plant my garden again.  Here in Boston we have to start our seeds indoors to give them a head start before we can put plants outside. The seed packages tells me how many weeks early to plant seeds indoors and how long the seeds will take to sprout. That's a lot of counting backwards.  This activity introduces students to the use of spreadsheets to count the time between planting indoors and planting outdoors. HSF.BF, HS.M, HSA.REI, HSA.CED, HSN, MP5