How many gumballs are there?

Gumball Machine Problem from Brian Marks on Vimeo

This problem is a little puzzle to get your students thinking, estimating, and calculating. We've given you a pdf file with only a picture of the gumball machine to use for estimating.

  • How many gumballs are there?
  • At $0.25 per ball, how much will it cost me to buy them all?
  • How long will buying them all take?

Macy’s Star Rewards Points

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Wow! Check out this deal at Macy's.  For $25 I can join Macy's Star Rewards program.  I get 10% back in rewards for every dollar I spend.  Its pretty cool that Macy's gives part of that $25 to charity.  Should you do it?  It seems like free money (or clothes) just for shopping at Macy's.  Factoring in the $25 enrollment fee, how much do you need to spend at Macy's to come out ahead? For what total shopping dollar amounts is this a bad deal for the consumer?  What dollar amount must you spend to at least break even?  Can you write a rule that gives the dollars earned at Macy's after the $25 registration fee for any dollar amount of purchases?

Willy Makeit or Betty Wont

I have to go to the bathroom pretty badly. I have to admit that I have been holding it in for a while.  Finally!  I see a bathroom sign!  Wait ... it is in kilometers?  How far is that?  Should I run?

The activity: have-to-go.pdf

What is Artemis 1 and when will it launch?

Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

50 years ago we landed on the moon. We've established a space station and flown astronauts and guests to live there. Private industries have created reusable space delivery systems.  What's next?

This week, what's next (Artemis 1) was set to launch.  It is a new lift-off rocket (SLS - Space Launch System rocket) and a new crew and cargo module (Orion) into orbit. Artemis 1 will travel thousands of miles further from the Earth than has ever been flown before.

In this activity, students try to decipher several graphics that explain the flight path of the Artemis mission and make comparisons about what has been accomplished before.

The activity: Artemis1.pdf

Labor Day 2022

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.

The activity: LaborDay2022.pdf

Someone ate my cake


In this fraction operation and representation activity, students are asked to decide how much of my cake was eaten. Using fraction multiplication (or angle measure if that is where you need an activity) they find out how much someone owes me for what they ate. The task could also solve using ratio and proportion reasoning.
The activity: Someone-ate-my-cake.pdf