Patriots’ Day

In Massachusetts, April 17th will be a holiday from school and work in Massachusetts.  We celebrate Patriots' Day on the 3rd Monday in April to commemorate the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the battles of Lexington and Concord.

We have two activities that you can use to bring Patriots' Day into your math class.


The Boston Marathon - We've gathered a lot of great data about the race and the facilities necessary to organize it.  We've asked some sensible and some surprising rate question.  There's a page-one activity that you can do as a class and the rest of the calculations can be worked on individually or in groups.  CCSS: 5.MD.1, 6.NS.3, 6.RP.1, 6.RP.2, 6.RP.3, 7.RP.1

Sweet Easter mathematics

Giant chocolate bunnies
What can you deduce about the bunnies ... solid? hollow? cost per pound? cost per height? Anything else? 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A
Holiday candy sales
Which holidays are associated with candy? For which of those holidays do you think that the most candy is sold? What percents of annual candy sales do you think each holiday contributes?
Students use a pie chart of information on candy sales to determine actual dollars spent for Halloween, Easter, Christmas and Hanuka, and Valentine's Day. 6.RP.3, 7.EE.3, 7.RP.3
How many peeps are sold for Easter?
Students estimate the number of Peeps sold each Easter season. They consider reasonability by making guesses they think might be a little too high and a little too low.
They determine necessary info, problem solve and improve their original estimates. They conduct random samplings of their estimates and compare the mean of their estimates to the actual number of peeps sold each season. Old dancing Peeps video included. 7.SP.1, 7.SP.2, MP1, MP2, MP3



YUMMY food for Passover

Passover will begin this year at sundown on Monday, April 10th. Jewish families will gather to commemorate the exodus of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The celebration begins with a traditional meal, the Seder, where the story of Exodus is retold and special foods are eaten to remember that long ago passage.

We have two activities that involve traditional Passover foods.

Coconut and chocolate chip macaroons
Two activities:
  • Halving, quartering, and three-fourthing recipe.
  • Creating a general rule for doubling, halving, or the recipe.
    CCSS: 5.NF, 6.NS, 7.NS, 7.EE, MP7 , MP8

  • Mom's matzo ball soup
    Tripling fractions, adjusting proportions, and maintaining the ratios to create one humongous matzo ball.
    CCSS: 5.NF, 6.NS, 7.NS, 7.EE, MP7 , MP8

    What does 95% confidence in the poll results mean?

    There were polls about who would win the Presidential election. Now there are polls about approval ratings for Congress and President Trump.  You can see the latest poll results here.

    I get so confused when polling results are reported.  What is this 95% confidence measure? What's the margin of error?  What is standard deviation?

    In this activity students consider the errors in choosing polling samples, find the absolute mean data difference, the standard deviation of a sample and calculate the margins of error.