Author Archive for oldmanmarks

Does it pay to get educated?

Updated! Why should students do well in school, graduate high school, or go on to college?  In this activity median earnings by various education levels are explored.  Students compare the earnings of a non-high school grad with workers who graduated…

Drill bit fractions

Act One:  Drill bits are measured by the diameter of the bit in inches. The drill bits below are ordered left to right in increasing size. The numerators in the fractions have been blacked out.  What could the numerators be?  Explain your…

Willy Makit and Betty Wont

I have to go to the bathroom pretty badly. I have to admit that I have been holding it in for a while.  Finally!  I see a bathroom sign!  Wait … it is in kilometers?  How far is that?  Should…

How many cars are there?

I came home from work to find that my son had his cars organized in a tight parking lot on our front porch. How many cars are there? Is it an array and if so, what size array could it be…

New Pirates of the Caribbean – How profitable?

The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie opened on Friday, May 26th. Your students might be looking forward to seeing this movie and motivated to understand the investment expenses and profit expectations. Our data and questions will help them judge this…

Who had the greatest NBA season ever?

Just updated! Russel Westbrook had one of the most dominating seasons ever, averaging nearly 32 points, 8 assists and 11 rebounds a game!  He set a record with 42 triple doubles in the 2016-17 season.  Was this the greatest NBA…

March Madness – Does seeding really matter?

March Madness is the big 68 team college basketball tournament that takes over our TV viewing during the weekends of March. School and office friends are filling out brackets.  Engage your students in  percents as they get excited about March…

Big Bucks

Giancarlo Stanton and Wayne Rooney signed big contracts recently, paying each of them millions.  Lets take a look at some of the world’s biggest sports contracts from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and European Football (what Americans call soccer).  We often hear…

What’s wrong with this picture?

We’ve gotten used to believing what we read or see advertised.  But sometimes the clerk doesn’t get the sales discount right or something seems a little off.  Let students ponder this store menu and see if they can figure out…

Christmas tree lights – How many do I need?

Check out our Christmas Tree.  You need to buy lights for the tree.  Without calculating, guess how many feet of lights you will need.What information do you need to better estimate the number of feet of lights that you need?…

Is the Electoral College unfair?

Show your students this really cute segment comparing how the Electoral College functions in our elections to what students think is fair and just. From the New York Times, Electoral College 101. After showing the video consider asking your students what the grouping…

Big Papi

Check out the video: What do you wonder? How many donuts make up this Big Papi tribute? What would be useful to help you figure this out? The following pictures that will open in new windows:  Big Papi Sky View,…

Olympic Medal Table

Check out the two images of the 2008 summer Olympic medal counts.  What do you notice? How are the Olympic medal counts and standings determined? The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and are not…