Fidget spinners – fad or lasting trend?

Do you recognize what these are? Are you noticing students with these gadgets? Is this a forever toy or just the newest thing?

Can you tell by looking at trend charts of Google searches how this phenomena will proceed?  Let's take a look at how other popular products and crazes look in Google Trends to get an idea of the future popularity of spinners. 

Triple Crown hopeful at the Preakness Stakes

Credit: AP Photo/Garry Jones

This Saturday is the running of the Preakness Stakes Thoroughbred horse race in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Preakness is the second major race for 3-year old thoroughbreds to run in their effort to claim the Triple Crown of horse racing.  Always Dreamer won the Kentucky Derby on May 6th.  Does he have a chance to win the Preakness?  In this activity we look at the empiracle probability of winning the second and third events.

The activity: Will-AlwaysDreamer-win-TripleCrown.pdf

Proposed southern border wall

You have probably heard about the proposed border wall that may go up along the U.S./Mexico border.  How much wall needs to be built? How much will that cost? What is that per mile? Per foot? What else could you buy with that much money?  What is the impact of this wall on people, the economy and environment?

When implementing the activity consider the sensitivity and controversial nature of this topic.  This is an opportunity to integrate current events, politics and social issues into math class.

To start the activity you might do the first two questions immediately before handing out the activity sheet.   The activity requires a lot of different math skills such as fractions, decimals and percents, as well as basic math operations.  This could be a good opportunity to get older students reviewing a variety of math skills.

Mother’s Day activities

Mother's Day by the numbers - Mother's Day is right around the corner and this means big business for the greeting card and floral industries. Let your students practice averages, percents, and large numbers while they analyze the statistics on Mother's Day spending.  You could even ask students to do their calculations in scientific notation to add an extra dimension to this activity. Enjoy!


For members we have an editable Word doc and solutions.

mothers-day-numbers2017.docx    mothers-day-numbers2017-solution.pdf

CCSS: 6.RP, 6.SP, 7.RP, 7.SP

How much do we spend on Mother's Day - Use the Mother's Day event to engage your students in approximating, reasoning, and investigating as students estimate how much is spent in the United States for Mother's Day.

  • For what is money spent?
  • For whom is money spent?
  • What is a low guess?
  • What is a high guess?
  • What facts would you like to know?


Measuring sea level

What does this gizmo do?

We've given students a diagram of what the interior of this mechanism contains and asked them to try to decide what its purpose must be.

Then we've given them the data that was collected from this place and others globally and asked what they can conclude.

A little mechanical and mathematical investigation + global awareness.

The activity: GlobalSeaLevels.pdf

CCSS: 6.RP.3, 7.RP.1, 8.EE.B.5, 8.F.B.4, HSS.ID.C.7, HSF.IF.B.6, MP8