Category: Algebra

These posts help students see patterns and relationships.

Bowling Deals

Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window. Is there a general way to figure how much its going to cost you (and your friends) to go bowling? Should you pay per game?  Or bowl per…

New Horizons spacecraft just flew by a really distant asteroid

On January 1st, 2019, the New Horizons spacecraft passed close to Ultima Thule, a Kuiper Belt object that’s a billion miles beyond Pluto. That milestone marked the most distant celestial object that we have ever been able to see close-up.  In this activity student do some rate conversions to try to understand the delay in knowing that the mission was a success.

Will we be “in our prime” this year?

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…

Winter and holiday posts (16 great activities)

Soda Santa

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. 7.G.3, HSG.C, HSG.GMD.4, HSG.MG.1 –  Updated for 2018! Soda Santa – First students guess too…

How many lights should I buy for my tree?

Check out our Christmas Tree.  We 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…

Wrapping presents on the diagonal

In this activity students determine if this method for minimizing wrapping paper is actually more efficient then the traditional method. For a hands on learning experiment, have students actually wrap a small rectangular prism using any available paper in both the traditional and diagonal methods. Then let them compare the two quantities of wrapping paper and decide which method uses less paper and by what percent.

Do I have enough wrapping paper?

I have to wrap this box.         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. …with…

Shipping Crunch

Now that the shopping season has begun, it’s time to get the packages to your homes.  Two big companies take care of a lot of that shipping.  How do they manage that? The mechanisms for these two shipping giants are…

Leaves are pretty but …

Brian has spent too much time thinking about his leaf raking. He’s worried about doing the job alone and about how long the job would take with different numbers of rakers. In this activity students see the inverse relationship between…

Weird wing prices

Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window. Danny’s Wok in Philadelphia has a huge price list for ordering their famous chicken wings. Why did they write the prices this way? Do you see a pattern?…

Thanksgiving, football, Black Friday, and giving

Not enough mashed potatoes – Use Brian’s famous mashed potatoes recipe to practice changing decimals to fractions; calculating ingredient measure for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings; have students explain their reasoning; and to have students figure out how many servings 7½ pounds of…

Black Friday Deals

When shopping next Friday, students will be able to add some understanding and analysis to the trip after calculating savings in dollars and percents with this timely investigation.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade 2018

As we get ready for next week’s holiday, students can study a map of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, describe, measure and hypothesize why this route was chosen and then calculate how long each band will be marching and…

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…