Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

Soda Menorah

Happy Holidays! This Soda Menorah was on display in a Florida Target store.  It is made up entirely of 12-packs of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out the activity by giving kids 30 seconds to look at…

Why does the date of Hanukkah keep changing?

Just updated for 2016! Saturday evening, December 24th, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much earlier in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar…

Not enough mashed potatoes

Using his famous mashed potato recipe, Brian has asked students to change decimals to fractions, to calculate ingredient measures for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings, to explain their thinking in calculating these figures and to judge how many servings could be created…

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…

Vampire bats

Ooooo. Scary!  This is a slightly didactic activity on vampire bats.  We’ve given lots of interesting metric and customary unit facts and asked students to relate those sizes to quantities that they are familiar with.  Simply enjoy the season with this…

Odds of winning the Triple Crown

American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown !!! How do you calculate compound probability?  Skip the betting odds and deal only with the odds that one horse could win 3 amazing races.  June 6th is the Belmont Stakes race … the…

Triple Crown possibilities, 2015

Updated for 2017! American Pharaoh was the first horse to win not only the Triple Crown but also the Breeder’s Cup race = Grand Slam!  Never done before. Involve your students in this soon-to-be event while reviewing fractions, calculating miles…

How Many Donuts is That?

Act One:  Take a look at the picture.  What is the first question that comes to mind? How many donuts is that?  What information would be useful? Act Two: See pictures below. Your students can view all five pictures on…

Peeps

How many Peeps are sold at Easter time each year? Treat your students to some authentic and delicious Easter math.  Students estimate the number of Peeps sold each Easter season.  They consider reasonability by making guesses they think might be…

Passover macaroons

Passover begins this year on Monday evening, April 10th, 2017, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish religion and celebrates the Exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. Let your students…

Which Sweet Hearts are the Best Deal?

 I have been doing a little shopping for Sweet Heart Candies. I came across these three deals online.  Which should I select?  In this activity students determine which package of Necco Sweet Heart Candies is the best deal.  Students are…

A parametric heart … with love

Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to explore parametric equations. First students figure the coordinates of this figure using trigonometric unit triangles. Then they simplify and accelerate this task with either a graphing calculator or with online software like Desmos…

Soda Santa

Soda Santa

Happy Holidays! This Soda Santa is made up entirely of 12-pack cans of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out the activity by giving kids 30 seconds to look at the picture and have them take a quick…