Author: Leslie

Possible activities in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr

Time lines for life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Two timelines that show the rate and spacing of progress. One timeline about events and accomplisments of Martin Luther King, Jr Second timeline about the progress made in America, so…

Home team advantage?

Even before your students check out the graphic below, ask them whether they think a game played at home gives their team an advantage.  If so, how much of an advantage?  Enjoy the discussion first.  Then show the graphic.

At least the days are getting longer

What’s your guess as to how fast the number of daylight hours will change each day from now until June 21st?  Will the changes be dramatic? Will the lengthening days be only a subtle change? Students make guesses; compute how…

Is 2017 prime?

Every birthday I consider whether I’m in the prime of my life … like when I was 29 years old.  Will this new year be a prime year?  I hope so. Don’t use Google or Siri or whatever.  Just see…

Earth’s Perihelion

On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn’t that make this the warmest time of the year? In this activity students become familiar with the terms perihelion and aphelion as they calculate…

Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop

On Saturday evening, December 31st, 2016 at 12:59 pm, much of the world will be watching the iconic Times Square Tower’s New Year’s Eve ball drop 141 feet to the roof of the One Times Square Building in Manhattan, NY.  This…

Pre-winter holiday activities!

Christmas tree lights – Students first guess how many feet of lights would be required to decorate this tree.  The class finds the mean and median of those guesses.  Then they brainstorm and refine their guesses. Lastly they figure out how…

It’s latke time

In my family it is traditional to eat latkes (Yiddish for potato pancakes) at this time of year.  They are fried in a lot of oil and salted generously.  My mom’s latkes were wonderful but they couldn’t have been good for…

Dark days, Winter solstice

Students appreciate how their latitude effects the darkness of their late afternoon location as they study the earth’s tilt and the logic of daylight hours. The activity: winter-solstice2016.pdf CCSS: 7.G.3, HSG.C, HSG.GMD.4, HSG.MG.1 For members we have an editable Word docx…

Wrapping presents on the diagonal

Dr. Sara Santos is a popular mathematician and speaker on mathematics.  She has worked out a method for wrapping boxes (rectangular prisms) as efficiently as possible. (Watch the video above)  Her method was written up in this article in Mental Floss and…

Giant macaroon nutcracker, revisited

Each year the Boston Ballet highlights the holiday season with the Nutcracker ballet.  In 2014, the Boston Ritz Carlton Hotel’s chef, Andrew Yeo and his pastry team, created a gorgeous and massive Nutcracker cake of macaroons and fondant to celebrate the…

Pick-a-brick wall at the Lego store

There are walls at the Lego stores that are filled with individual Lego parts.  You can fill a bucket and pick out exactly what you need. Use this PowerPoint activity to get your students conferring with each other, making guesses,…

Consumer Spending 2016

We spend a lot of money as consumers in the U.S. In this activity we look at historical data to see if there are any patterns in our spending.  How does our holiday spending show up in these graphs?  What…

Op ed

November 25, 2016 I’m a retired classroom mathematics teacher but I have the luxury of teaching part-time in a local high school, Newton South, MA. When I enter the building there is often a student entering just before me. I…

Shrinking Toblerone

They changed it.  That is so not fair … or is it? You can check out a video news story on the delicious shrinking Toblerone bar here. Two sizes of Toblerone bars are now configured differently.  How much did they…