Number Sense

Which TV is the Best Deal?

Check out the TVs.  All have essentially the same features, only the size of the screen varies.  Which TV do you think is the best deal?Explore area and unit pricing to determine which HDTV offers the most screen area for…

The winter Olympics torch trip

Olympic torches are being carried to the deepest lake, the highest European mountain, into space, and around the host country to bring the Olympic flame to Sochi on February 7, 2014. In this activity, students can witness the Torchs’ trip…

4th down

It’s 4th down.  Should you go for it?  Punt?  Kick a field goal?  Instead of using your gut, use research, data and math to make the right call … The graph below gives the recommended option for 4th down situations for…

HDTV Surprise!

How were your holidays?  Your school vacation?  Mine was good. I surprised my family with this HDTV, which I wrapped and hung on our wall.  The size of an HDTV is determined by the length of its diagonal. What size…

Moneymaking holiday movies

Which movie do you think is the highest grossing holiday movie of all time (click on the movie to see its trailer)? How the Grinch Stole Christmas,  Elf,  The Santa Clause  or  The Polar Express Students analyze holiday movie data. They…

Amazing LEGO Fireman

At the Toys R Us store, I saw an amazing LEGO creation.  He was a life-sized LEGO fireman with a walkie-talkie, an oxygen tank and even an oxygen tank gauge.  He must have taken a long time to build. Let…

Best Sports City

My friend from Boston created this list of cities that had won championships (in the last 10 years) in the four major national leagues. What does this list make you wonder? Which city has the best teams?  How do you…

Asian giant hornets

Vespa mandarinia In AnKang, China in Shaanxi province, giant hornets have injured and killed scores of people.  Government officials are now trying to eradicate these insect’s hives and have destroyed about  4,500 nests so far.  The Asian giant hornet is the…

~~~ Scary costumes ~~~

Every year Americans spend lots of money on Halloween and Halloween costumes. Use our updated data on Halloween spending in America to engage your students in an analysis of the ratios of population, participation, and money spent in honor of October…

Nobel prize in physics 2013

François Englert and Peter W. Higgs François Englert and Peter W. Higgs were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass. In 1964, they proposed the theory independently of each other. In 2012,…

Really old “New Math”

Tom Lehrer is a singer, songwriter, satirist, pianist and mathematician who has written some wonderful songs. In 1959 he wrote a song called “New math”.  At that time, much of mathematics teaching was reoriented.  Parents of elementary school aged children…

How much caffeine?

We stumbled upon this interesting caffeine infographic at visual.ly. Wonderings? How many McDonalds coffees do I need to get the same amount of caffeine that I would get in a Starbucks coffee? What is the whole circle worth?  How do you…

California wildfire

Wildfires are burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park.  In this activity we ask students to examine various maps of this California region, calculate distances using map scales, draw conclusions about the nature of fighting fire here,…