Category: Number Sense

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…

Really big pumpkins

Let your students marvel at World Record winning giant pumpkins as they use proportions to calculate the quantities of pumpkin puree and the number of pumpkin pies that could be made from one of these giants.  To introduce the task…

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 and percents of population, participation, and money spent in honor…

Which is the best candy deal?

We found big mixed bags of candy at really good prices … we think. Students are asked to decide which would be the best deal and the worst deal on candy.  They can also create their own mixed bags.  This activity…

Population Clock

Click here to see the Population Clock bigger in a new window. How in the world does this clock conclude that there is a net gain in the United States of one person every 14 seconds?

Vampire bats

Ooooo. Scary!  This is a slightly didactic activity on vampire bats.  We’ve given lots of interesting metric and customary unit facts and asked students to relate those sizes to more familiar objects.  Simply enjoy the season with this slightly creepy activity…

Ghost Whisperer

This Friday is the 13th.  Let the spooky stuff begin! Students can play this game online at Ghost Whisperer Crystal Ball and Figure out why it works. Construct viable arguments Critique the work of others This activity can be used with any…

Layla’s antibiotics

The dosage of Layla’s medication was confusing to our friend Kim.  How many days was she supposed to give Layla the meds?  How many pills does she need to cut into pieces?  Cute dog!

Fantasy Football

In the midst of another NFL season, we introduce students to Fantasy Football. Students first calculate football points given touchdowns, yardage gains and interceptions. They are then challenged to generalize an equation that gives a player’s total fantasy points. Students solve…

How much does the biggest Lego set ever cost?

Note: This is a remake of our 2014 “How Much Does a Lego Cost” activity How much could the Lego Millennium Falcon cost? Student first make a guess and then think about what information would be useful in order to…

Labor Day, 2017

In this short activity, students learn the meaning and history of Labor Day as they look for patterns emerging from the Labor Day dates over the past years. Students then use those observed patterns to predict future dates of the…

Does it pay to get educated?

Updated! Why should students do well in school, graduate high school, or go on to college?  In this activity median earnings by various education levels are explored.  Students compare the earnings of a non-high school grad with workers who graduated…

Who’s going back to school?

Updated! In this investigation students calculate the percentage of the U.S. population (current and historically) that are enrolled in K-12 schools. They are asked to draw conclusions from these variations. Finally, they use their calculations to predict the number of…