Labor Day 2019

Updated!

What is this holiday about?  Are we celebrating the start of school?  New cars? The end of summer?

In this short activity, students learn about the intended meaning of Labor Day as they read about its origin. For the mathematical part, they look for patterns in the history of Labor Day dates. Students then use those observed patterns to predict future dates of the holiday.

Who’s going back to school?

Updated!
Students look at the past and present populations of the U.S. and the past and present population of school attendees to calculate the percentage of the population that are enrolled in K-12 schools. They are asked to draw conclusions from the historical variations of this data. Finally, they use their calculations and our state data to predict the number of enrolled students in their own state.

A calculation of percent increase (or decrease) of earning power compared to education level is the final didactic note in this activity.

Stacking Jack

Act One: Check out the video slide show.  What questions do you have?

The Activity: Stacking Jack

Suggested Question: How many different ways can I stack Jack?  That is, how many different color arrangements are there?

If I wanted to take a picture of every possible arrangement how many pictures would I need to take?

Really big shoe

Brian and his son were doing some shopping when he found this shoe.  Egad!  Could that be someone's real shoe?

In this activity student need to use a shoe size chart, patterns or linear modeling to try to figure out what size this shoe must be.  Then they try to estimate how tall this person must have been.  Whoa!

The activity: BigShoe.pdf

Related CCSS: 7.G.1, 8.EE.6, 8.F.4, 8.SP.3, HSA.CED.A.2, HSA.CED.A.4, HSF.LE.A.2, HSS.ID.C.7

The cost of going back to school

School-gear

Back to school spending is huge and students might not appreciate what it costs to send them back to, essentially, their job of learning.  In this activity students decide what equipment and supplies are necessary, estimate how much that will all cost, confer with groups or partners to refine their lists, and then research to find out more accurately how much it will probably cost to send them back to school.  This activity could be used for students in upper elementary school all the way to high school.  It offers an opportunity for kids to get estimating, researching, reasoning, calculating and communication skills honed for the coming year.