Category: 3-act tasks

Mother’s Day ideas (14 activities)

Updated! How much do we spend on Mother’s Day – Use the Mother’s Day event to engage your students in approximating, reasoning, and investigating as students estimate how much is spent in the United States for Mother’s Day. For what…

Earth Day actions for our planet

We have 16 activities that you could use for Earth Day! Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day. Help your students become activists for our planet? We have 16 activities that support recycling, conserving resources, awareness of climate change and protecting our planet.…

Valentine’s Day (11 activities)

Have a heart Canstruction – Students use reasoning and approximation to analyze the number of cans of food contained in this one giant heart.  Consider starting out the activity by showing students the picture of the heart and doing a see…

Before the holidays (16 activities)

We have tons (well, 16) of activities to bring to your class in this last week before the holiday break. Movies, science, art, cooking, economics, weather and the logic of calendars. Enjoy!

Do I have enough wrapping paper?

In this problem based activity students first guess and then try to calculate whether they will have enough paper to wrap this present without taping pieces of wrapping paper together. I have to wrap this box. ⇒     ⇐  …

Halloween activities

14 Activities How well can you predict your candy haul? – Students consider how to determine their best predictions of their candy haul.  The math ideas of measurement error and percent error are introduced.  Students then predict their own Halloween…

Where should I drop my puck

Act 1 – Give students time to view the game board above or give them our one-page activity. The above picture is larger when you click on it. Ask students for their gut reaction about which slot would give them…

Penny Wars anew

Students judge from apparent diameters and penny heights, which jar has the most money. Mrs. Mercado had 3 pictures of scales with two jars on each balance. That is another great puzzle.

Man paid in 500 pounds of greasy pennies!

In this 3-act activity, students learn about the story, watch a PowerPoint presentation about the issue, and try to calculate the amount of money in this pile. Copper pennies, zinc pennies, metric to standard conversions, and more.

How many scoops do I need?

In this 3-act activity, students need to invent a different way to measure the powdered chocolate than what the instructions dictate. How many 1/4th teaspoonsfuls of powder = 2 teaspoons? How many 1/8th teaspoons = 2 teaspoons? General rule?

8 cold and snowy activities

How much snow is that? – How many inches of snow produced that pile?  How much snow in volume is on top of the car?  How much could that snow weigh? Approximation, snow/water equivalent rates (SWE) 5.MD.C, 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, 7.EE.B, 7.G, 7.EE.A Snowy…


Just before Thanksgiving there are competitions all over the world to celebrate cool design, tricky engineering, and to donate a whole lot of food. How many cans does it take to build this structure?  What information do you need to determine this?  How did you determine your solution? What else did you notice that is mathematical?