Author: oldmanmarks

Stacking Jack

Act One: Check out the video slide show.  What questions do you have? The Activity: Stacking Jack Suggested Question: How many different ways can I stack Jack?  That is, how many different color arrangements are there? If I wanted to take…

Starbucks, 2012

Time to give students some authentic math on a topic they will surely be interested in … Starbucks.  We ask and answer a few questions in this activity. About how many drinks does Starbucks sell in a year? If I…

Penny Wars

Act One: Check out all of the pennies! What questions come to mind? If you want the most money, which container should you pick? What information do you need to answer this question?  What assumptions must you make to solve…

Legos

Act One: The world record for the tallest structure made of Legos was recently set in Seoul, South Korea.  Check out the pictures and video below: How much do you estimate that it costs for only the materials, to build this tower?

Video game download

How long will it take me to download the video game? This can be done as a 3 Act Task.  To get started simply show the video and following picture to your class. ACT ONE: I decided to download a…

Linsanity

Jeremy Lin is the New York Knicks most startling player.  His story is exciting in that he graduated from Harvard in 2010 and was not immediately drafted into the NBA.  At first he was playing in the NBA Development League…

All Star Game 2012

The NBA All Star game is being held on February 26th.  Did you know that this was the third major professional sport all star game in the last month. The Pro Bowl and the NHL All Star Game were also…

Negative Exponents? Ugh

This activity/post is a little different than are usual posts.  We look at a particular math concept and consider how to use context, models and CCSS math practices to increase student understanding.  This activity focuses on negative exponents.  Even if you…

Free Resources for Authentic Mathematics

On Thursday evening Leslie and Brian spoke at Boston College as part of the ATMIM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts) Winter Conference.  Our presentation was on making mathematics meaningful to students.  We shared, did and discussed math activities…

When is Tebow Time?

Tim Tebow is the talk of the sporting world.  This Saturday he goes up against Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Playoffs.  I keep hearing about “Tebow Time” and I wonder at what point in a game that usually…

Largest Cup of Coffee Ever!

The world record for the largest cup of coffee was recently set (see picture above).  In this activity students explore scale, similar figures, volume and measurement as they estimate the amount of coffee that this record-sized mug holds.  Students also…

Bank of America Debit Card Fees

Millions of people and businesses use debit cards every day.  Banks didn’t charge customers for their use. Banks actually gave rewards and incentives to customers for using them. So how did banks make money from debit cards?  Banks charged the…

Why Does it Stay in Orbit?

On Monday, the space shuttle Endeavor launched for the last time. The six astronauts on board docked this morning at the International Space Station to join the 6 astronauts and cosmonauts who live at the ISS. Combine current events, Earth…

Oil Spill!

As of May 28th,2010  it is believed that the early estimate of 210,000 gallons of oil (around 5000 barrels) per day of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico was much too low. The flow rate was revised on May…

Chocolate Milk and Mixture Problems

Chemistry experiments and algebra problems sometimes ask students to create percent mixtures or to change a mixture into a stronger or weaker solution by adding more of an ingredient. Students often have difficulty isolating the key concepts involved in this…