Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

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

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…

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.

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…

Delicious pumpkin pie

I make the best, best, really best pie. Every year more and more people come to our house on Thanksgiving morning for my famous pumpkin pie and a hike in the nearby woods.  This year 23 people have already accepted.…

Nobel Prizes

This is the medal that is given to the Nobel prize winners.  Check it out. (Teachers, you could get into Roman numerals right here.)       LittleRomanNumeralLesson.pdf What do you know about the Nobel Prize?  Who do you know who has…

Making a ghost costume

I’m going to make a costume pattern to sell.  People can buy my plan and make awesome, long, full, scary, ghost costumes.  This scheme will be so simple.  Perhaps I’ll get rich! In this activity young students can reason about…

How long will it take you to trick or treat?

It’s Halloween and this is your neighborhood. How long will it take you to trick or treat at every house in your neighborhood? Possible conversation with students: How long will it take you to get from house to house? You…

Fantasy Football

In the midst of another NFL season, we introduce students to Fantasy Football. Students first calculate football points given touchdowns, yardage gains and interceptions. They are then challenged to generalize an equation for that gives a player’s total fantasy points. Students…

How much do we spend on Mother’s Day?

Image from Trendhunter.com Here is a Mother’s Day Infographic from 2012.  Use the Mother’s Day event to engage your students in approximating, reasoning, and investigating.  Brian has asked students to estimate how much is spent in the United States for…