Category: Number Sense

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!

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 profit…

Mom’s matzo ball soup

Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 22nd, 2016, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish calendar and celebrates the Exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. Let your students…

Green, green river

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) means and  attempt to figure out how much dye is used to sufficiently color the…

Shamrock Shake

For Saint Patrick’s Day add a little nutrition math to your celebration.  In this post we look at calories, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins to decide what would be left for our day’s meal allotment after we had lunch and…

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…

Highest grossing movies

Let your students develop their own ideas about compounded percent change while they have the opportunity to speak about the upcoming Academy Awards show. Worldwide box office income is compared for the top ten grossing movies of all time. Is…

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

Updated for 2018!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…

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…

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…