Author Archive for Leslie

Hexadecimal colors or paint by number

Probably most of us have heard of and even used hexadecimal color codes. Don’t you wonder why their number descriptions really make sense? In this activity we first ask students to color in our Golden Spiral by giving them the…

Soda Menorah

Happy Holidays! This Soda Menorah was on display in a Florida Target store.  It is made up entirely of 12-packs of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out the activity by giving kids 30 seconds to look at…

Why does the date of Hanukkah keep changing?

Just updated for 2016! Saturday evening, December 24th, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much earlier in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar…

Not enough mashed potatoes

Using his famous mashed potato recipe, Brian has asked students to change decimals to fractions, to calculate ingredient measures for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings, to explain their thinking in calculating these figures and to judge how many servings could be created…

Nashville presentation

We had a great time presenting at the NCTM conference in Nashville this morning.  Here is a pdf of our powerpoint presentation.  Fun! RichTasksPresentation-Nashville,TN.pdf

How should I cook my turkey?

Should I oven bake it, deep fry it or barbecue and smoke it?  When do I have to wake up to begin preparations? How long will the cooking take?  How much will it cost?  How many can I feed?  Will there…

Rescue of the Chilean miners – The 33

On August 5, 2010, the San Jose copper-gold mine near Copiapó,Chile collapsed stranding 33 miners in a large cavern more than 2,000 feet below ground. A new movie has just been released about the incident, The 33. All of the…

Vampire bats

Ooooo. Scary!  This is a slightly didactic activity on vampire bats.  We’ve given lots of interesting metric and customary unit facts and asked students to relate those sizes to quantities that they are familiar with.  Simply enjoy the season with this…

How much have doughnuts changed?

Part of the Smithsonian’s Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera — Click on the image to see it larger. When you are working on volume in your class, you can use this activity for students who might like to find…

Fall hiking and the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is one long hiking trail that begins in Georgia and ends on Mount Katadin, Maine. Fall is a beautiful time to be outdoors or on the Trail.  This activity is about calculating the needs and rates involved…

Canstruction

Act One:  Take a look at the pic. What questions come to mind? Just before Thanksgiving there is an annual demonstration at the Winter Palace in the World Financial Center of New York City.   Canstruction is a celebration of…

Weather extremes

This year has brought torrential rains to Texas after years of severe draught. February was the coldest month ever in much of the midwest and Northeast US.  Pakistan and India have experienced extreme and deadly heat waves. Use the open number line and…