Author: Leslie

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…

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,…

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…

Father’s Day blueberry surprise

Sunday is Father’s Day and there is still time to have a tiny fraction review in the guise of celebrating Father’s Day. This is a short activity that asks students to change the amounts in a blueberry muffin recipe to…

Cicada swarmaggedon

Most of the life cycle of the Magicicada Septendecim is spent underground.  Then at 17 year intervals, these cicadas emerge from the ground, climb deciduous trees, molt into adults, mate, lay eggs, and die. Why does the 17 year interval…

Patriots’ Day

Monday, April 17th, 2017, is the official holiday this year to remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War 242 years ago in 1775. (The actual date was April 19th, 1775) Both Paul Revere and the…

Cruising

There have been a lot of cruise ship mishaps and disasters this year. While these are in the news, let your students consider how these floating cities manage their resources and which of their needs are precarious as they calculate…

Chocolates

Valentine’s Day is here again and that means candies and chocolate.  In this activity students approximate the volume (through finding surface area) of three different pieces of chocolate.  The chocolates are shaped like a heart, a bat (for Halloween) and…

Voyager on the edge

The two Voyager space probes are in the news recently as they approach the edge of our solar system.  Scientist can tell that the Voyager’s environments are changing.  They are receiving more high-energy particles streaming

Happy 14th B’ak’tun!

Clicking on this map of the Mayan territories will open it larger and in a new window Luckily, we’ve passed 12/21/2012 and the world is still here and we’ve made it into the start of the next Mayan calendar cycle…

How many movies can you see in one day?

Robert Kaplinsky at robertkaplinsky.com shared this lesson idea with Yummymath. With plenty of days off from school coming up you plan to spend a day at the movie theater.  You want to see as many movies as possible. Create a…