Category: Number Sense

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…

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,…

U. S. Open Tennis Tournament

The U.S. Open is about to get underway in New York City.  It is possibly the biggest tennis tournament in the world. We’ve updated our numbers and focused on the prize money.  As students ponder the amounts for various wins,…

Bits, bytes, and nibbles

Clicking on the image will show it larger. I’m not very good at understanding how large my device capacities are and how big the files that I want to download are in comparison.  I decided to practice with the numbers…

Raising the bar

Recovery of the treasure from the 1941 sinking of the S.S. Gairsoppa was recently completed and a huge amount of silver was brought up from the ocean floor.  Let your students get a feel for this adventurous career as they calculate…