The Times Square ball

It's a gorgeous ball, covered with Waterford Crystal triangles, shaped as a geodesic icosahedron.  Every New Year's Eve it descends in Times Square to mark the beginning of the new year.  Students can take a closer look at this construction and use our drawings to experiment with slicing an icosahedron in order to discover how this shape is formed.

The activity: TimesSquareBall.pdf

CCSS: 7.G.A.3, 7.G.B, 8.G, HSG.GMD.B.4

Family fun math activities

Point of view - With any set of cubes, enjoy building this creation using our two view-point pictures. How many blocks are in my stack?  What is the least number of blocks that I used?  The most number of blocks that I used?

Wrapping presents on the diagonal - For a hands on learning experiment, wrap a small box using any available paper in both the traditional and diagonal methods. Then compare the two quantities of wrapping paper used and decide which method uses less paper.

Pythagorean Triples and coloring - We've combined a little coloring with our Pythagorean Triple pattern investigation to let your family relax while they color, view the beauty, and recognize the progression.

Winter holidays – 17 activities

Winter Solstice - Students appreciate how their latitude effects the darkness of their late afternoon location as they study the earth's tilt and the logic of daylight hours. 7.G.3, HSG.C, HSG.GMD.4, HSG.MG.1 -  Updated for 2019!

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 dimensions. 6.EE.A, 6.G.1, 6.G.4, 6.G.A, 7.EE.B, 7.G.6, 7.G.B, HSG.MG.A.3, MP5

Wind Chill - Students examine the patterns that correlate increasing wind and/or decreasing temperatures, use wind chill numbers to estimate possible wind and temperature factors, and generally become familiar with this sort of interpolation and calculation. 5.OA.3, 6.EE.1, 6.EE.2, 7.EE.3, 7.EE.4, 8.EE.7, HSA.REI.B.3, HSF.LE.A.1, HSF.LE.A.4, MP4

Hanukkah dates keep changing!

Sunday evening, December 22nd, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much earlier in December last year. Why isn't it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar and appreciate the incredible mathematics involved in creating a calendar that aligns both the moon's revolution about the Earth and the Earth's revolution about the Sun.

The activity: hebrew-calendar2019.pdf

Three wrapping presents activities

Wrapping presents on the diagonal - Students work with surface area, efficiency decisions, Pythagorean theorem.  Great movie included about Dr. Sara Santos method of wrapping presents.  Older students can use algebra to calculate why this works.

Younger students can wrap a small rectangular prism two ways, on the diagonal and traditionally, and decide which uses less wrapping paper. 7.G.6, 8.G.7, HSG.SRT.C.8, HSG.MG.A.3, MP3, MP4


Do I have enough wrapping paper?  In this 3-act task, students decide, by comparison with an iPhone, what the size of this box might be and whether one sheet of tissue paper will do the job.   6.G.1, 6.G.4, 7.G.6, HSG.MG.A.3, MP5

Star Wars … the story continues

The Rise of Skywalker will open on December 20, 2019.  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 been gathering data on each of the Star Wars movies' budgets and earnings and posed some open-ended questions.  How do the Star Wars movies compare?

Consider this: Start with only the first page of the activity: StarWarsProfitability2019.pdf.  Have kids look at the data and ponder these questions: What does this data make you wonder? What would you like to find out? How do you suppose that I should calculate the profit that these companies made from the movies? What other factors should I try to account for in creating profit amounts that I could compare?