How many Representatives will your state get in 2011?

The 2010 U. S. Census is almost complete. One of the most important reasons for the decennial census is to determine the number of Representatives that each state should be assigned for proper representation in our House of Representatives.

In this exploration students examine the intent and wording of the U. S. Constitution as they learn how Representative apportionment is done.

  • They see the Priority formula An= P/√n*(n+1) and practice using it to determine which state should get the next Congressional seat.
  • Students learn what the ratio of voters to Representatives was originally intended to be and they calculate what that ratio has become.

This lesson goes well with U.S. history courses and will be in the news daily as the end of the year approaches. It is a topic that we all should understand.


BP and the stock market updated

The oil company, BP, has spent billions of dollars to stop and clean the oil spill, clean the coastline, and settle claims of industry loss and damage in the region. Needless to say, the value of BP stock has been changing.

In this activity students have the opportunity to better understand percent change as we track the value of BP's stock. After the notion of percent change is reviewed and practiced, students choose three companies to analyze and then create an Excel spreadsheet that models formula use and appropriate formats.

This activity was originally created by fellow math teacher, Matt Timmins, and has been revised by Leslie.


leslie-portfolio.xls        leslie-portfolio.pdf

Oil Spill!

As of May 28th,2010  it is believed that the early estimate of 210,000 gallons of oil (around 5000 barrels) per day of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico was much too low. The flow rate was revised on May 27th to be between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day (around 500,000 gallons) of oil.

With this updated sheet, students work with rates, percentages, proportions and averages to further understand the magnitude of this event.


Chocolate Milk and Mixture Understanding

Chemistry experiments and algebra problems sometimes ask students to create percent mixtures or to change a mixture into a stronger or weaker solution by adding more of an ingredient. Students often have difficulty isolating the key concepts involved in this sort of problem. This investigation introduces the notion of changing percent mixtures through a fun class day that ends with a yummy treat.   This activity is perfect for a middle school algebra class or any high school math class.  Students set up and solve equations to solve mixture problems.

Classroom activity:  Teachers-Guide-Choc-Milk-and-Mixture-Problems.pdf

Classroom student practice:  chocolate-milk.pdf


For members we have an editable Word docx of the activity and solutions.

chocolate-milk.docx      chocolate-milk-solution.pdf


Everyone is talking about the new Apple creation. Use Brian's activity to analyze its costs, price per GB, and sales predictions.


For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions.

ipad.docx         ipad-solution.pdf

Geometry of Flooding

In 2010, March was so rainy that flooding was the topic of every newscast and many, many conversations.  The picture shows how students went home from school in Wayland Mass. on March 31st - on a Duckboat.

This two page investigation asks students to calculate the volume of water generated by inches of rain spread over the surface area of Massachusetts. Specific river catchment areas are then considered to understand the actual voluminous rise of the Sudbury River. Once the volume of water is calculated, students are asked to find approximate river depth change.  This activity could be used in any science or math class, especially if flooding in in the news in your area or nationally.


CCSS: 5.MD, 6.G, 6.EE, 6.RP, 7.G, 7.RP, HSG, HSF

For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions.

Geometry-of-flooding.docx       Geometry-of-flooding-solution.pdf