Category: Number Sense

Not enough mashed potatoes

Updated activity for Covid 19 appropriate Thanksgivings.
Students change decimals to fractions,
calculate ingredient measures for various-sized Thanksgiving servings,
explain their thinking in calculating these figures,
and judge how many servings could be created from 7½ pounds of potatoes.

Canstruction

Just before Thanksgiving there are competitions all over the world to celebrate cool design, tricky engineering, and to donate a whole lot of food. How many cans does it take to build this structure?  What information do you need to determine this?  How did you determine your solution? What else did you notice that is mathematical?

Leaves are pretty but …

In this activity students see the inverse relationship between number of workers and time to complete the whole job. They graph hyperbolas and consider how long the extreme condition of zero people raking might take to complete the job.  

Ravensburger huge puzzle

Students surmise what the difficulty of a jig saw puzzle entails and use rate calculations to estimate finishing times. They try to confirm whether doubling the number of pieces really increases puzzle completion time by a multiple of four.

5 Election activities

Is the Electoral College vote similar to the Popular vote?  The winner of the Presidential Popular vote (November 3, 2020) is not always the same as the winner of the Electoral College vote (January 6, 2020). In this activity students…

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 more familiar objects.  Simply enjoy the season with this slightly creepy activity…

Candy deals

We found big mixed bags of candy at really good prices … we think. Students are asked to decide which would be the best deal and the worst deal on candy.  They can also create their own mixed bags.  This activity…

Is the Electoral College fair?

After showing the video consider asking your students what the grouping of students must have been for “colored pencils” to win the class electoral college?  Is there more than one possibility?  What is the minimum number of students that could have voted for colored pencils for them to still win the Electoral College.  Students then consider scenarios where a candidate wins the popular vote, but loses the Electoral College.

Costume spending 2020

Use our current data on Halloween spending in America to engage your students in an analysis of the ratios and percents of population, participation, and money spent in honor of October 31st.  This activity takes kids through finding parts of wholes as well as ratio, percents and proportion problems.  Beware: the tasks in this activity involve some large numbers as well as some challenging fraction/ratio/proportion problems.

Electoral College vs. the popular vote

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com Let your students see how votes really count with our activity on the Electoral College.  Can someone win the popular vote in the Presidential election and still not become President of…

Monster cake

First, students need to find the surface area that the M&Ms cover in order to approximate how many M&Ms she needs to finish her cake.
When Brian tried to make the cake, he mistakenly added too much peanut butter.  Now all the of ingredients will need to be increased by some percent to insure that the cake maintains appropriate ingredient ratios?

How much chocolate is left?

Fraction operations might be more interesting when it involves chocolate. Students reason and calculate what is left of these chocolate bars.  The bars are the same size but are molded into different number of sections. Yum!