Category: Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

Winter Olympics, PyeongChang: February 9 – 25

Scoring Ski jumping – The scoring rubric for each of the Olympic events is intended to eliminate the possibility of scoring bias from the judges. Let your students learn more about the scoring of one event and decide whether it seems fair…

Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, and football activities

Greasing light poles – How much Crisco are the Philadelphia police using to grease their light poles to discourage climbers? 6.EE.A, 6.G.A, 7.G.B, 8.G, MP5 Typical Super Bowl scores – Students reflect on the mean, median, and mode losing scores, winning scores,…

Will Phil see his shadow?

Phil saw his shadow! 6 more weeks of winter. February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil will again, with great ceremony, come out of his burrow and look for his shadow. There’s nothing like a cute animal picture to make your students smile…

Super Bowl ad costs still increasing

Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial from Super Bowl XLIII Here’s one more Super Bowl analysis to motivate your students: More than 5 million dollars for a 30-second ad.  That is how much a one-half minute commercial will cost during the 2018…

Super Bowl numerals, 2018

Super Bowl numbers are appearing again. As students start getting into the current Super Bowl hype, help them to understand the notation that the sports writers and advertisements are using. Introduce Roman numerals to your class.  In this activity students learn…

Martin Luther King, Jr. activities

Timelines for the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. – Students create one of two timelines about Martin Luther King Jr’s life or the efforts in America to create a racial balance in the U.S. 3.MD, 4.MD, 5.MD, 6.RP, 6.G,…

Days are getting longer

What’s your guess?  How fast are the number of daylight hours changing each day?  Will the changes be dramatic or subtle? Students make guesses; compute how long, on average, the change in daylight hours should be; play with a cool…

Earth’s perihelion

On Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn’t that make this the warmest time of the year? In this activity students become familiar with the terms perihelion and aphelion as they calculate…

New Year’s Eve ball drop

On Saturday evening, December 31st, 2017 at 12:59 pm, much of the world will be watching the iconic Times Square Tower’s New Year’s Eve ball drop 141 feet to the roof of the One Times Square Building in Manhattan, NY.  This…

Winter holiday activities (13 ideas!)

Do I have enough wrapping paper? – Students estimate the size of a gift and decide if the given wrapping paper is going to be enough.  Finally they try to create a rule for determining enough wrapping paper from a present’s…

How many lights do I need for my tree?

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?…

Wrapping presents on the diagonal

 Dr. Sara Santos is a popular mathematician and speaker on mathematics.  She has worked out a method for wrapping boxes (rectangular prisms) as efficiently as possible. (Watch the video above)  Her method was written up in this article in Mental…

Why are the dates of Hanukkah different every year?

Tuesday evening, December 12th, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much later in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar and appreciate the incredible mathematics…

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…

Thanksgiving, football, Black Friday, and giving

4th down – should you punt kick or go for a field goal? This is two activities. One is on graph reading. This is perhaps suitable for younger students. The other activity is on data analysis and the creation of the chart shown…