Number Sense

Super Bowl Numerals 2017

Super Bowl numbers are appearing again. As students start getting into the current Super Bowl hype, help them to understand the notation that the sports writers and advertisements are using. Introduce Roman numerals to your class.  In this activity they learn…

Lunar New Year, 2017

Lunar New Year begins on Saturday, January 28th. This will be the year of the Fire Rooster.  The year name is a combination of 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches creating a sequence of year names that eventually repeat. Students…

Big Bucks

Giancarlo Stanton and Wayne Rooney signed big contracts recently, paying each of them millions.  Lets take a look at some of the world’s biggest sports contracts from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and European Football (what Americans call soccer).  We often hear…

Civil rights marches, how do you count a crowd?

On October 16, 1995, perhaps a million black men gathered for the Million Man March on Washington.  This was 32 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historic “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial to 250,000 civil…

The Star Wars phenomena continues

Rogue One has only recently come out and grossed nearly 300 million dollars in its opening weekend. We were curious about how often and how profitable the Star Wars movies have been.  So we gathered data on each movie’s budget…

Home team advantage?

Even before your students check out the graphic below, ask them whether they think a game played at home gives their team an advantage.  If so, how much of an advantage?  Enjoy the discussion first.  Then show the graphic.

At least the days are getting longer

What’s your guess as to how fast the number of daylight hours will change each day from now until June 21st?  Will the changes be dramatic? Will the lengthening days be only a subtle change? Students make guesses; compute how…

Is 2017 prime?

Every birthday I consider whether I’m in the prime of my life … like when I was 29 years old.  Will this new year be a prime year?  I hope so. Don’t use Google or Siri or whatever.  Just see…

Earth’s Perihelion

On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn’t that make this the warmest time of the year? In this activity students become familiar with the terms perihelion and aphelion as they calculate…

Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop

On Saturday evening, December 31st, 2016 at 12:59 pm, much of the world will be watching the iconic Times Square Tower’s New Year’s Eve ball drop 141 feet to the roof of the One Times Square Building in Manhattan, NY.  This…

Pre-winter holiday activities!

Christmas tree lights – Students first guess how many feet of lights would be required to decorate this tree.  The class finds the mean and median of those guesses.  Then they brainstorm and refine their guesses. Lastly they figure out how…

It’s latke time

In my family it is traditional to eat latkes (Yiddish for potato pancakes) at this time of year.  They are fried in a lot of oil and salted generously.  My mom’s latkes were wonderful but they couldn’t have been good for…

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 Floss and…