Data and Probability

Typhoon Neoguri approaching Japan

A powerful typhoon has just passed Okinawa, Japan’s southern-most prefecture, and is expected to continue to be very powerful.  What is a typhoon?  How are they scaled? In this activity students become aware of various storm rankings and severity as they…

Three great World Cup activities

World Cup ranking – Students explore the ranking formulated from each team’s previous 4 years of play in their geographical divisions.  The formula is complex and weighted. Is it fair?  5.OA, 5.NBT, 5.NF.B, 6.NS.B, 6.EE, 6.SP, 7.EE, 8.F, 8.SP, HSA World…

World Cup – How many ways?

present world cup scores How many games are played in each round of the World Cup?  In the opening round each of the four teams in a group must play each other (round robin format).  From then on each round…

World Cup draw

This is part II of our reflections on the World Cup games.  Part I, World Cup rankings, explained and let students practice with the formula and weighting that is used to establish each country’s team rank. This second activity deals with…

California Chrome’s Lineage

Alas.  California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown.  Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes. This Saturday is the final race of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing … the Belmont Stakes. No horse has won the Triple Crown since…

World Cup rankings

In December the soccer teams with the strongest world rankings were chosen to play in the once-every-4-years World Cup. The team rankings are calculated in a pretty complex manner. How are the 32 teams selected? Students can explore the ranking…

The growth of Godzilla

Image from Kris Holt: http://www.policymic.com/articles/76357/the-scary-way-godzilla-has-evolved-through-the-years-in-one-chart The new Godzilla movie is out at theaters.  His first appearance was in 1954 when he was created in Japan and crushed Tokyo.  He appears to have grown.  Do the film-makers have him growing appropriately?  Lets…

An ounce of cola

Which is more expensive; gasoline? milk? or cola?  Students calculate the per ounce cost of each of these liquids in a story about a man doing errands.  After finding the per ounce price, students find costs of gasoline, milk and…

Cost of light bulbs – updated!

Finally updated! There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the cost to consumers of CFL and LED bulbs and the savings in energy and money that could be realized. Let your students “do the math” and realize some of the…

Blue river

Because the Cubs just won the World Series, the plumbers have died the river blue. During the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, the local plumbers union dyes the Chicago River emerald green. Students learn what PPM (parts per million)…

Someone ate my cake!

In this fraction operation and representation activity, students are asked to decide how much of my cake was eaten. Using fraction multiplication (or angle measure if that is where you need an activity) they find out how much someone owes…

Olympic reflection

After the games Thomas Ulsrud, Norwegian curler;  Eun-Ryung Sung, South Korean single luge  Dachhiri-Sherpa, Nepalese cross-country;  Jason Brown, U.S.figure skating The 2014 Winter Olympics have concluded.  Which country had the most successful olympics?  Three students can’t agree.  Have your students…

Too early in the day for so many choices

Dunkin Donuts is promoting variety in their mixtures of hot chocolate.  Let your students try to figure out how many ways they can create their drink as they calculate the number of combinations possible in our story of stopping for…

Where have all the flowers … come from?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, is Valentine’s Day.  Start the “love hoopla” with this graphic on where all of the flowers come from.  This is part of the graphic from http://visual.ly/valentines-day-facts What fraction of these roses are shaded red?  The red ones…

Scoring Olympic 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 or not.…