Macy’s 2017 parade

As we get ready for next week's holiday, students can study a map of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, describe, measure and hypothesize why this route was chosen and then calculate how long each band will be marching and at what time they will arrive at the finish.

Students even approximate the volume of two parade balloons including Angry Bird, Red, from the 2015 parade, and the 2013 Wizard of Oz balloon. Very fun and timely with lots of Common Core standards addressed.  Try the whole activity or any of the different tasks in the activity with your class.


Act One:  Take a look at the pic. What questions come to mind?
Just before Thanksgiving there is an annual demonstration at the Winter Palace in the World Financial Center of New York City.   Canstruction is a celebration of design, of engineering, and of donating time, talent and food to the hungry. At the end of the exhibit all the amazing creations are dismantled and thousands of cans of food are given to hungry people via soup kitchens, food banks, shelters and senior homes.  Canstruction, Inc now has events in over 200 cities worldwide.

Here is a picture of an exhibit called "Downside Up" which was the winning exhibit from Canstruction, 2010, in New York City.

Act Two:  How many cans does it take to build this structure?  What information do you need to determine this?  How did you determine your solution? What else did you notice that is mathematical?

Is my son going to win … again?

Clicking on this image will show you a large color picture of the game board that you can show your class.

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 a game of Monopoly Junior.


CCSS: 2.OA.2, 2.NBT.5, 3.NBT.2, 3.OA.3, 3.OA.7

Veterans Day 2017


As Veterans Day approaches, let your students learn about and appreciate the meaning of the day by analyzing the powerful data that we’ve supplied.

Students can use our numbers to create questions for their classmates … questions that can emphasize the tremendous gift of all those who have served in our armed forces.

Hands of “Support”

Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window.

Lorenzo Quinn, an Italian sculptor, created and temporarily installed this piece of art entitled "Support" in Venice.  Quinn used his own children's hands to design this piece.  His intention was to demonstrate our need of human support to ensure the continued existence for our natural and man-made world.

In this 3-act activity we ask students to imagine the size of the child that would have these huge hands.

Act I: Giant-hands-of-LorenzoQuinn.pdf

Daylight saving time dilemma

Map from Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window.

Daylight Saving time is controversial, disruptive, useful, saves energy, increases energy consumption, is inconvenient ...  Imagine locations where neighbors are differentiated by one or two hours and experiment with how the hours of those neighbors will be different.