Category: Number Sense

Days are getting longer

What’s your guess?  How fast are the number of daylight hours changing each day?  Will the changes be dramatic or subtle? Students make guesses; compute how long, on average, the change in daylight hours should be; play with a cool…

Wind chill

When the weather person talks about wind chill did you ever wonder how they calculate that number?  In this activity students use the National Weather System chart to gauge wind chill, examine the patterns that correlate increasing wind and/or decreasing…

Winter holiday activities (13 ideas!)

Do I have enough wrapping paper? – Students estimate the size of a gift and decide if the given wrapping paper is going to be enough.  Finally they try to create a rule for determining enough wrapping paper from a present’s…

How many lights do I need for my tree?

Check out our Christmas Tree.  You need to buy lights for the tree.  Without calculating, guess how many feet of lights you will need.What information do you need to better estimate the number of feet of lights that you need?…

Wrapping presents on the diagonal

 Dr. Sara Santos is a popular mathematician and speaker on mathematics.  She has worked out a method for wrapping boxes (rectangular prisms) as efficiently as possible. (Watch the video above)  Her method was written up in this article in Mental…

The Star Wars phenomena continues

The Last Jedi (most recent Star Wars film) will open this weekend.  How much did it cost to make?  How much will it gross? Is the Star Wars phenomena a guarantee for success?  How would you compare these movies? We’ve…

Spiraling triples

Let students explore the patterns of perfect squares and Pythagorean Triples as they analyze our piece of art and decide why the resulting construction looks like spiraling squares. For a finale they color their own spiraling triple. The activity: SpiralingTriples-activity.pdf

Consumer spending 2017

Updated! We spend a lot of money as consumers in the U.S. In this activity we look at historical data to see if there are any patterns in our spending.  How does our holiday spending show up in these graphs? …

Thanksgiving, football, Black Friday, and giving

4th down – should you punt kick or go for a field goal? This is two activities. One is on graph reading. This is perhaps suitable for younger students. The other activity is on data analysis and the creation of the chart shown…

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…

Macy’s 2017 parade

As we get ready for next week’s holiday, students can study a map of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, describe, measure and hypothesize why this route was chosen and then calculate how long each band will be marching and…

Canstruction

Act One:  Take a look at the pic. What questions come to mind? Just before Thanksgiving there is an annual demonstration at the Winter Palace in the World Financial Center of New York City.   Canstruction is a celebration of…

Is my son going to win … again?

My son’s pretty young but is he still going to whoop me?  We were playing Monopoly Junior.  Can you decide who will win?  In this activity use addition and/or multiplication in authentic problem solving to determine who should win in…

Holiday candy sales

Which holidays are associated with candy? For which of those holidays is the most candy sold? What percents of annual candy sales does each holiday contribute? Consider using some independent think time, then small group discussion, then whole group discussion as…

How long will it take you to trick or treat?

It’s Halloween and this is your neighborhood. How long will it take you to trick or treat at every house in your neighborhood? Possible conversation with students: How long will it take you to get from house to house? You…