Author Archive for Leslie

The spread of Ebola in West Africa

Ebola is a deadly virus that has reappeared in Western Africa in an outbreak that began in February of this year.  We’ve supplied you with weekly statistics on the progression of this disease and given you and your students a…

Wheel of Theodorus

Bring a little art into your math class as you begin to use the Pythagorean theorem and your students first meet irrational numbers.

Immigration numbers

Use our data to do some analysis about the issues and changes in immigration policy and numbers.  This could be a very interesting day of mathematics.

Typhoon Neoguri approaching Japan

A powerful typhoon has just passed Okinawa, Japan’s southern-most prefecture, and is expected to continue to be very powerful.  What is a typhoon?  How are they scaled? In this activity students become aware of various storm rankings and severity as they…

Three great World Cup activities

World Cup ranking – Students explore the ranking formulated from each team’s previous 4 years of play in their geographical divisions.  The formula is complex and weighted. Is it fair?  5.OA, 5.NBT, 5.NF.B, 6.NS.B, 6.EE, 6.SP, 7.EE, 8.F, 8.SP, HSA World…

World Cup – How many ways?

present world cup scores How many games are played in each round of the World Cup?  In the opening round each of the four teams in a group must play each other (round robin format).  From then on each round…

California Chrome’s Lineage

Alas.  California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown.  Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes. This Saturday is the final race of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing … the Belmont Stakes. No horse has won the Triple Crown since…

World Cup rankings

In December the soccer teams with the strongest world rankings were chosen to play in the once-every-4-years World Cup. The team rankings are calculated in a pretty complex manner. How are the 32 teams selected? Students can explore the ranking…

The growth of Godzilla

Image from Kris Holt: http://www.policymic.com/articles/76357/the-scary-way-godzilla-has-evolved-through-the-years-in-one-chart The new Godzilla movie is out at theaters.  His first appearance was in 1954 when he was created in Japan and crushed Tokyo.  He appears to have grown.  Do the film-makers have him growing appropriately?  Lets…

An ounce of cola

Which is more expensive; gasoline? milk? or cola?  Students calculate the per ounce cost of each of these liquids in a story about a man doing errands.  After finding the per ounce price, students find costs of gasoline, milk and…

The Blue Marble

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, is Earth Day. Use this activity to demonstrate the various mappings of our 3-d Earth to a 2-d piece of paper. Students compare maps with this famous photo and check to see which characteristics are maintained and…

Mom’s matzo ball soup

Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 22nd, 2016, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish calendar and celebrates the Exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. Let your students…

Pizza party

In this activity students decide how to divide 2 pizzas amongst 6 adults and 3 pizzas amongst 8 kids.  Fractional pizza parts need to be drawn and considerations discussed about which fractions are greater. Students interpret a fraction as division…

Blue river

Because the Cubs just won the World Series, the plumbers have died the river blue. During the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, the local plumbers union dyes the Chicago River emerald green. Students learn what PPM (parts per million)…

Shamrock Shake

For Saint Patrick’s Day add a little nutrition math to your celebration.  In this post we look at calories, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins to decide what would be left for our day’s meal allotment after we had lunch and…