Number Sense

How Many Pennies did Otha Save?

Otha Anders used picking up pennies as a way to remember to pray.  In this 3-act activity we try to estimate how much he actually collected and stored in 5 gallon water jugs.  Kick off the activity with the article with…

Hexadecimal colors or paint by number

Probably most of us have heard of and even used hexadecimal color codes. Don’t you wonder why their number descriptions really make sense? In this activity we first ask students to color in our Golden Spiral by giving them the…

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…

Stress reducing coloring and Fibonacci

Have you seen the new coloring books? I think they can be beautiful.  Evidently people who like to multitask can find a means of calming their energies and reach a peaceful place by simply coloring designs.  Coloring in these drawings allows…

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…

Free Pizza for a Whole Stadium?

Act One: Clemson Football Head Coach, Dabo Swinney, offered an amazing “poll party” with pizza for everyone if Clemson makes the College Football Playoffs in the last poll of the season.  See the written news story here.  See the news video clip…

What’s your favorite sport?

What is your favorite sport?  Wait, do I mean your favorite sport to play or your favorite sport to watch? Does it matter? Are your favorite to-watch sport and your favorite to-play sport the same sport or different? How does…

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…

How much have doughnuts changed?

Part of the Smithsonian’s Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera — Click on the image to see it larger. When you are working on volume in your class, you can use this activity for students who might like to find…

Going bananas

What additional information would you like to know? Record your data from your investigation … either from your own research or from what your teacher can supply. Use all the information that you have gathered to determine which banana deal is…

Fall hiking and the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is one long hiking trail that begins in Georgia and ends on Mount Katadin, Maine. Fall is a beautiful time to be outdoors or on the Trail.  This activity is about calculating the needs and rates involved…