Algebra

These posts help students see patterns and relationships.

Souvenirs and concessions

Brian has introduced systems of equations with easy, motivating problems that deal with the cost of stadium purchases for food or souvenirs. These systems of equations puzzles are so intuitive that very little support will be needed

Ladder figuring

Brian can’t even go to his town’s spring festival without seeing math. Let your class approximate the height or length of this ladder by using the relative size of the cars or the people to approximate the ladder’s length.

Big gulp

Do you or your students love sugary drinks?  What if it were against the law to order a large sugary drink where you lived?  On September 13th, 2012 the New York City Health Department banned sodas and sweetened drinks larger…

Cicada swarmaggedon

Most of the life cycle of the Magicicada Septendecim is spent underground.  Then at 17 year intervals, these cicadas emerge from the ground, climb deciduous trees, molt into adults, mate, lay eggs, and die. Why does the 17 year interval…

Jackie Robinson

The movie “42” is the story of Jackie Robinson, a baseball player who became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball since the game was segregated in the 1890’s. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him in April, 1947.  He contributed to…

Patriots’ Day

Monday, April 17th, 2017, is the official holiday this year to remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War 242 years ago in 1775. (The actual date was April 19th, 1775) Both Paul Revere and the…

Albert Pujols … On Pace? 2013

Albert Pujols, entering into his 13th year as a MLB player in 2013 could be on pace to break lots of records!  In 2012 Albert signed a 10-year $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.  In his first season…

Lifespan of a meme, the Harlem Shake

Five friends who skateboard and video tape made up a strange dance one afternoon and filmed it on February 2nd.  Now the whole world knows them and their dance … weird.  This is the story of the life of a…

Cruising

There have been a lot of cruise ship mishaps and disasters this year. While these are in the news, let your students consider how these floating cities manage their resources and which of their needs are precarious as they calculate…

Snow Days

Here are some pictures from a recent snowfall at my house.  How Much Snow Did I Get?  Have students make an estimate.  Ask them for a guess that is probably a little too low and one that is probably too…

Voyager on the edge

The two Voyager space probes are in the news recently as they approach the edge of our solar system.  Scientist can tell that the Voyager’s environments are changing.  They are receiving more high-energy particles streaming

Whole lot of cookies

Jennifer Fairbanks from Hopkinton, MA sent us this picture of the cookies that she baked in 4 hours using 13 eggs and 5 cups of sugar. Do you see some math here?

Monopoly 2014

In the board game, Monopoly, does a property’s distance from GO correlate to its rent when you land on it ? Using Brian’s spread sheet (list of properties, distance from GO, rent and rent with properties) students create scatter plots.…

Is this possible?

Brian Shoemaker, a Newton, MA mathematics teacher, saw this Dunkin Donuts Mazda traveling down the road.  He wondered if that size coffee cup could really have coffee in it.  Wouldn’t the car rock back on its rear bumper? How much…