# Some of our users’ favorite activities

Geometry

#### Watson saves

Students use the Pythagorean Theorem with Ben Watson's incredible tackle to figure out how far he must have run. Truly phenomenal play! ...

#### Wrapping presents on the diagonal

In this activity students determine if this method for minimizing wrapping paper is actually more efficient then the traditional method. For a hands on learning experiment, have students actually wrap a small rectangular prism using ...

#### Chocolate heart-shaped raspberry cake

Students calculate base area or volume of cakes made from 2 cake pan sizes and observe how the volume of the cake changes with the increased pan size.  This is an activity intended to demonstrate ...

#### How many times bigger?

Listen to students initial thoughts as they wrestle through what "bigger" means ... length? height? wheel-base? volume? ...

#### Big Air snowboarding

Graphic generously supplied by GraphicNews.com Starting February 18th a new Olympic sport will be televised ... Big Air Snowboarding.  Some of your students may be officianados of snowboarding. Using this activity could be an opportunity ...

#### Can you show that the Pythagorean Theorem works?

Use this activity to help your students work through the meaning of the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagorean theorem experiences are often skill and drill work with contrived right triangle problems. In this activity students work with ...

#### Betsy Ross’s 5-pointed star

Folding analysis to make Betsy Ross's 5-pointed star ...

#### Wheel of Theodorus

Bring a little art into your math class as you begin to use the Pythagorean theorem and your students first meet irrational numbers ...

Activities with a wow factor!

#### Big beach towel

Since beaches are starting to open again, we thought this activity might bring smiles and hopes. Act One: Check out this beach towel!  What do you wonder? What would you like to know? Miami artist, Misael Soto ...

#### How Many Donuts is That?

Act One:  Take a look at the picture.  What is the first question that comes to mind? How many donuts is that?  What information would be useful? Act Two: See pictures below. Your students can ...

#### Willy Makit and 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?  ...

#### Another year of Never Ending Pasta

On September 15, 2016, Olive Garden again offered a \$100 pass for never-ending pasta, bread sticks, salad and coca cola soft drinks.  The 21,000 patrons who quickly (in less than a minute) bought all of ...

#### Chili Con Queso

Act 1: Take a look at the promo at Moe's.  What is the first question that comes to mind? How much does a 42-gallon jug of Chili Con Queso cost?  How many cups or bowls of ...

#### BIG Snickers bar

Wow!  This snickers bar is huge! Act 1 - Big question = How many times bigger than a regular Snickers bar is this? What info would you like to know? How are you going to judge ...

#### \$10,000 a week or \$10 million all a...

Would you rather have \$10,000 a week or \$10 million all at once? What kinds of things do we need to think about or factor in when making this decision? If you had to advise ...

#### How much pee is in this pool?

A Canadian chemist, Xing-Fang Li, has found a marker for urine that chlorine doesn't disguise. In this activity, students calculate volume of several pools, change that cubic foot volume to gallons of pool water, and try ...

#### Someone ate my cake!

In this fraction operation and representation activity, students are asked to decide how much of my cake was eaten. Using ...

#### Is my son going to win … again?

My son's pretty young but is he still going to whoop me?  We were playing Monopoly Junior.  Can you decide ...

#### Impress your parents at dinner

This activity is the first in our series on mental math tricks.  Let your students develop their own individual way ...

#### Pick-a-brick wall at the Lego store

There are walls at the Lego stores that are filled with individual Lego parts.  You can fill a bucket and ...

#### But it didn’t sell?

﻿ A&W offered a bigger, tastier burger but it didn't succeed in grabbing customers away from the hugely popular McDonald's ...

#### How many cars are there?

I came home from work to find that my son had his cars organized in a tight parking lot on ...

#### Legos

Act One: The world record for the tallest structure made of Legos was set in Seoul, South Korea.  Check out ...

#### Drill bit fractions

Act One:  Drill bits are measured by the diameter of the bit in inches. The drill bits below are ordered ...

Expressions, equation and systems of equations

#### Who had the greatest NBA season ever?

Updated for 2019! In 2017 Russel Westbrook had one of the most dominating seasons ever, averaging a trip!e double per game.  James Harden lit up the league in 2018 and is considered the favorite for ...

#### Fantasy Football

In the midst of another NFL season, we introduce students to Fantasy Football. Students first calculate football points given touchdowns, yardage gains and interceptions. They are then challenged to generalize an equation that gives a ...

#### Souvenirs and concessions

Brian has introduced systems of equations with easy, motivating problems that deal with the cost of stadium purchases for food or souvenirs. These systems of equations puzzles are so intuitive that very little support will ...

#### How much do the tickets cost?

Ooops! I was supposed to buy 4 adult and 2 children tickets, but I accidentally entered four children and two adults ... 🙂 Can you figure out how much a child's ticket and an adult ...

#### Cost of light bulbs – updated!

There's a lot of misinformation out there about the cost to consumers of CFL and LED bulbs and the savings in energy and money that could be realized. Let your students "do the math" and ...

#### Should I replace my toilets?

I'm trying to be more savy about wasting our resources.  I have really old fashioned toilets and I'm trying to figure out if I should invest in saving water.  Can you help me? The activity: ...

#### Who can play in this play area?

We visited a Chic-fil-A recently.  We had a great meal and my son loved playing in the play area.  While at the play area I noticed two different signs that gave the age and height restrictions ...

Artful Math

#### Wheel of Theodorus

Bring a little art into your math class as you begin to use the Pythagorean theorem and your students first meet irrational numbers ...

#### Fibonacci coloring

Let your students simply enjoy coloring our designs or artistically play with the whole creation of Φ designs. Simply coloring our Fibonacci patterns might allow students to ponder the Fibonacci sequence (while they learn more ...

Probably most of us have heard of and even used hexadecimal color codes. Don't you wonder why their number descriptions really make sense? In this activity we first ask students to color in our Golden ...

#### Pascal coloring and modular math

Clock math, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,1,2,3,4,5,6,7... is modular math. Let your students learn about the usefulness of modular math as they color and explore Pascal's Triangle. Very pretty math! ...

#### Coloring with Pascal’s Triangle … Bino...

Working with Pascal's Triangle offers some interesting and varied mathematics.  We love to color and the end result is pretty!  Here is the first of 3 activities using Pascal's coloring. This Binomial expansion activity could ...

#### Pythagorean Triples and coloring

Pythagorean triples are not only handy for students to recognize but produce some interesting and lovely patterns.  We've combined a little coloring with our Pythagorean Triple pattern investigation to let your students relax while they ...

#### Pascal’s Triangle coloring and Probability

Working with Pascal's Triangle offers some interesting and varied mathematics.  We love to color and the end results are prettier than most math homeworks.  Here is the second of 3 activities using Pascal's coloring. Pascal's ...

#### Spiraling squares – compass and straight edg...

Can you see the many spirals in this design? Students calculate the size of each increasing round of squares and consider what sort of spirals these must be. The activity: SpiralingSquares.pdf Working with a little ...

Data and probability

#### Games with dice

Time to let students become naturally curious about probability.  In this activity students work in teams to record the frequency of rolled dice combinations. They observe the difference between experimental and theoretical outcomes and consider how ...

#### What does 95% confidence in the poll results mean?

There have been a lot of polls about who will win the Presidential election. I get so confused when polling results are reported.  What is a 95% confidence measure? What's the margin of error?  What ...

#### Pixar versus DreamWorks

Animated films are a billion dollar industry.  The two biggest producers of animated films are DreamWorks and Pixar.  The two have been going head to head for more than ten years now. So how do ...

#### 3 winners on the Price is Right – what are the chances?

Act One: Show this clip of the recent Price is Right program.  What questions do your students have? We were wondering what the chances are of 3 contestants in a row, each spinning \$1.00, and ...

#### Extra point or 2-point conversion – Updated

﻿ In 2015 the NFL changed the extra point kick distance to 33 yards and now teams have a tough decision to make, go for one or two points?  The one point extra point is ...

What is your favorite sport?  Wait, do I mean your favorite sport to play or your favorite sport to watch? Does it matter? Are your favorite to-watch sport and your favorite to-play sport the same ...

#### Pascal’s Triangle coloring and Probability

Working with Pascal's Triangle offers some interesting and varied mathematics.  We love to color and the end results are prettier than most math homeworks.  Here is the second of 3 activities using Pascal's coloring. Pascal's ...

#### Can I get your order right?

Updated! You can order a ton of combos at Chipotle.  They advertise that there are 65,000 ways to order their meals.  Do you think that is correct? ...

Number sense

#### What me? Irrational?

We've found that some students believe that the approximation that their calculators show for irrational numbers is exact.  Here's an activity that you can advertise as long multiplication review. After they study our calculations have ...

#### How much did the temperature change...

It's been a crazy winter of extremes through much of the United States. Here's an article, from the February 17, 2016 Boston Globe Newspaper by Matt Rochereau, with the degree swing whited out.  Have your ...

#### Cruising

There have been a lot of cruise ship mishaps and disasters this year. While these are in the news, let your students consider how these floating cities manage their resources and which of their needs ...

#### Consumer spending 2018

Consumers in the U.S. spend a lot of money. In this activity we look at historical data to see if there are any patterns in our spending.  How does our holiday spending show up in ...

#### Bits, bytes, and nibbles

Clicking on the image will show it larger. I'm not very good at understanding how large my device capacities are and how big the files that I want to download are in comparison.  I decided ...

#### Monster cake

First, students need to find the surface area that the M&Ms cover in order to approximate how many M&Ms she needs to finish her cake. When Brian tried to make the cake, he mistakenly added ...

#### Can you show that the Pythagorean T...

Use this activity to help your students work through the meaning of the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagorean theorem experiences are often skill and drill work with contrived right triangle problems. In this activity students work with ...

The GHOST WHISPERER now has a replacement!!!! John Tranter of Transum Mathematics has created the Mythical Mathematical Mind Reader and we've updated our activity to accompany the fun ...

Weather

#### Wind chill

Students use the National Weather System chart to gauge wind chill, examine the patterns that correlate increasing wind and/or decreasing temperatures, use wind chill numbers to estimate possible wind and temperature factors, and generally become ...

#### Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones

This is the season for increased cyclonic activity around the globe. Typhoons, Hurricanes, and Cyclones are measured with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy score (ACE). Does it correctly describe these events? ...

Tornadoes have devastated the Midwest, U.S. in the last few days. Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Mississippi have been brutally hit with these powerful events. Involve your students in a better ...

#### Extreme weather 2020

Use the open number line and our lists of temperature extremes to make signed number operations and absolute value sensible. Students compare record high and low temps (integers) and use absolute value in order to ...

#### 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 ...

#### How much did the temperature change...

It's been a crazy winter of extremes through much of the United States. Here's an article, from the February 17, 2016 Boston Globe Newspaper by Matt Rochereau, with the degree swing whited out.  Have your ...

#### Alarming ice cracks on Brunt Ice Sh...

A new, fast-growing ice crack is forcing the Halley VI British research station in Antarctica (shown above) to be moved.  Fear of a huge break-off from the ice sheet is alarming not just to the scientists ...

#### V-o-r-t-e-x

Use the extreme cold weather to practice and understand integer subtraction ...

Two variable relationships (linear, exponential etc)

#### Eliud Kipchoge runs marathon in 1:5...

How have record marathon runs changed through the years?  Will those record times keep being broken?  Does the data help you predict? ...

#### When will he use up his chocolate m...

Brian's son buys chocolate milk every few days to go with his lunch. His school creates an invoice that they send to parents every month that show the status of his milk account. Brian put ...

#### Thank you, mother and father, for a...

Thank you Mother and Father for all of those diapers - Which is a better deal, cloth or disposable diapers?  How much did you cost your parents in diapers?  In the future how much could your ...

#### Opening Weekend – Avengers: E...

Can you tell from its opening weekend how much the new movie, Avengers: Endgame, might earn in theaters?  This activity can be used anytime and is especially timely when there is a new blockbuster movie ...

#### Movie tickets over time

How Much Will Movie Tickets Cost in the Future? - Updated! In this investigation, Brian looks at the changes in movie ticket prices over the last 38 years. Using his scatter plot (or his data) students analyze ...

#### How much should you spend on this s...

This activity can be used in a large range of grade levels.  Your class can work on percents, linear equations or piecewise functions. Act One: We missed the semi-annual sale but we want to get ready ...

#### Negative Exponents? Ugh

This activity/post is a little different than are usual posts.  We look at a particular math concept and consider how to use context, models and CCSS math practices to increase student understanding.  This activity focuses ...

#### How Much is a Tweet Worth?

These days it seems everyone is on social media. Are you? Famous athletes and entertainers are on social media and they can make a lot of money.  In this activity students study how the number of ...

Coronavirus related activities

#### The new R-naught number

Now we're plagued with the Delta variant of the coronavirus.  What was the original virus' R-naught number and what has it become? ...

#### AQI – Air Quality Index

The AQI is a measurement of how much particulate matter, dangerous ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide there is in the world's atmosphere at any one time and place. Students learn about the ...

How big is a coronavirus cell? How big is a micron? How well do these masks protect against the virus? What can you observe about the size of particles mentioned? Why are we wearing masks? ...

#### Coronavirus trends

Johns Hopkins University of Medicine has a team that maintains current maps and data about the Coronavirus.  They record changes and show trends of the virus activity throughout the World. Enjoy exploring the data, all ...

#### What does the data show?

When you look at the new case numbers of the Coronavirus in the U.S. and compare that with various world and national events and our present scientific understandings, what do you wonder?  What can you ...

#### A socially-distanced party

I risked infecting my friends or becoming infected myself by throwing a very small socially-distanced party.  I served baked appetizers, disinfectant wipes, and latex gloves.  I cooked while wearing clean latex gloves and served the ...

#### I bought toilet paper online

Students use the pictures in this activity to approximate the size of this 16 roll package of bamboo toilet paper. They use comparison ratios with our Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll to calculate the size of ...

#### What is with this chart?

Does this chart make sense to you? Is there something odd about it? How would you change it to make it more sensible? ...

#### Hoarding stopped!

A Danish market found an interesting way to limit hoarding of hand sanitizer. How much are these costs in your currency? What is the unit price on these bottles? By how much (what percent) was ...

#### Is there much of a difference between 99.9% or 99.999%?

Use our present need for cleanliness to engage your students. Does it really matter whether you kill 99.9% of the bacteria or 99.999% of the germs? In this activity, we've asked students to consider whether ...

Ratio, proportion, percent

#### Value of a lifetime of Whoppers?

Locked in a smelly bathroom for one hour and then promised a lifetime of Whopper meals, an Oregon man sued ...

#### Should I get the Big One?

Let your students decide if the BIG one is a fair deal.  Click on the pic to enlarge and post ...

#### Losing team in the playoffs, 2015

Hey, the playoffs are about to begin.  The best teams from the leagues compete to determine the champion. Must be some ...

#### Glowing rectangles

People spend lots of time staring at their screens (glowing rectangles).  Kids spend hours each day using their cell phones, ...

#### Cheesy Goldfish crackers

In this activity students do a little comparison shopping as they determine which size Goldfish product is the best deal.  Students are ...

#### Justin Verlander’s hugely exp...

Check out Justin Verlander's luncheon bill. What do you notice? What do you wonder? Students might be interested in or ...

#### Big bucks

Mike Trout just signed a huge contract.  He'll be receiving \$430 million dollars playing for 12 years with the Los ...

#### Which gasoline is the cheapest?

A comparison of gasoline in Greece, priced at Euros per liter, and gas in Massachusetts at dollars per gallon. Price ...

Summary activities

#### Mother’s Day 2022 (14 ideas)

We have 14 possible activities for you to bring Mother's Day into your classroom. Diapers, chocolate, Mother's Day spending, surprise ...

#### Martin Luther King, Jr and social justice

We have 6 activities on Martin Luther King and the movement to a more fair and equal representation of Black ...

#### Winter Olympic Activities (7 activities)

Curling - Friction, score-keeping, trajectory and weirdness are the main concepts in this activity.  Curling is not a well-understood sport ...

#### Valentine’s Day (11 activities)

Sweetheart candy deals, heart-shaped cake, a cardioid, parametric heart graphing, heart construction, imported roses, and more ...

#### Thanksgiving, shopping, football and giving

14 Activities to bring some seasonal math to your classroom! Ways to cook a turkey; shopping activities; football stuff; and ...

#### 12/16/20 – Pythagorean Triples

This would be a good date to play with Pythagorean Triples. Pythagorean Triples and coloring - Pythagorean triples are not only ...

#### Chocolate everything – Yum!

Just before Mother's Day we thought a lot of chocolate play might be timely. Big Snickers bar - 3-act task; ...

#### 15 NFL Math activities!

Do teams that spend a lot win a lot?  -  Students compare team wins with team salaries in the four major ...

#### Climate justice – 14 activities

Last week millions of people marched in hundreds of countries worldwide to demand "climate justice". Greta Thunberg speaking at World ...

#### Movies and the upcoming Oscars

Compounded percent change; central tendencies; the weight of Rapunzel's 70 feet of hair; Godzilla's height by comparison; how to measure ...

#### 2 Hiking Activities

Appalachian Trail Needs - Calculating the needs and rates involved in enduring this 2,168 mile trek. Steepness and Fall Hiking ...

#### 8 cold and snowy activities

How much snow is that? - How many inches of snow produced that pile?  How much snow in volume is on top ...

#### Before the holidays activities (19 ideas)

Giant Macaroon Nutcracker - In 2013, Chef Andrew Yeo, built a giant macaroon nutcracker in a Boston hotel using given amounts of ...

#### Earth Day 2022

We have 16 interesting activities to bring home; air quality, erosion, water levels, climate change, solar power, recycling, and changes ...

#### Passover, Spring, and Easter ideas (10 activities)

Dyeing eggs; matzoh ball soup; holiday candy sales; when to plant seeds; Peeps; macaroons; Hebrew calendar; Python tree; and giant ...