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Thanksgiving, football, Black Friday, and giving
Not enough mashed potatoes - Use Brian's famous mashed potatoes recipe to practice changing decimals to fractions; calculating ingredient measure for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings; have students explain their reasoning; and to ...
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Thanksgiving, football, Black Friday, and giving
Black Friday
When shopping next Friday, students will be able to add some understanding and analysis to the trip after calculating savings in dollars and percents with this timely investigation ...
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Black Friday
How should I cook my turkey?
Should I oven bake it, deep fry it or barbecue and smoke it?  When do I have to wake up to begin preparations? How long will the cooking take?  How much ...
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How should I cook my turkey?
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 ...
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Macy's 2017 parade
Canstruction
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 ...
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Canstruction
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 who will win?  In this activity use addition and/or multiplication ...
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Is my son going to win ... again?
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 ...
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Veterans Day 2017
Hands of “Support”
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 ...
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Hands of "Support"
Daylight saving time dilemma
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 ...
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Daylight saving time dilemma
Operation Gratitude – Halloween candy buy back
This is a great idea! Motivate kids to get rid of all of that candy for a good cause. Operation Gratitude and dentists are encouraging healthy eating, motivated giving, and ...
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Operation Gratitude - Halloween candy buy back
Holiday candy sales
Which holidays are associated with candy? For which of those holidays is the most candy sold? What percents of annual candy sales does each holiday contribute? Consider using some independent think ...
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Holiday candy sales
How long will it take you to trick or treat?
It's Halloween and this is your neighborhood. How long will it take you to trick or treat at every house in your neighborhood? Possible conversation with students: How long will ...
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How long will it take you to trick or treat?
Ghost costume pattern
I'm going to make a costume pattern to sell.  People can buy my plan and make awesome, long, full, scary, ghost costumes.  This scheme will be so simple.  Perhaps I'll ...
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Ghost costume pattern
Really big pumpkins
Let your students marvel at World Record winning giant pumpkins as they use proportions to calculate the quantities of pumpkin puree and the number of pumpkin pies that could be ...
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Really big pumpkins
Scary costumes
Every year Americans spend lots of money on Halloween and Halloween costumes. Use our updated data on Halloween spending in America to engage your students in an analysis of the ratios ...
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Scary costumes
Which is the best candy deal?
We found big mixed bags of candy at really good prices ... we think. Students are asked to decide which would be the best deal and the worst deal on candy ...
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Which is the best candy deal?
Population Clock
Click here to see the Population Clock bigger in a new window. How in the world does this clock conclude that there is a net gain in the United States ...
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Population Clock
Vampire bats
Ooooo. Scary!  This is a slightly didactic activity on vampire bats.  We've given lots of interesting metric and customary unit facts and asked students to relate those sizes to more familiar ...
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Vampire bats
Water saving toilets
How much water is used? How much water could be saved? The activity: PottyTime-SavingWater.pdf CCSS: 5.MD.1, 5.NBT.7, 6.RP.3, 7.RP.3, MP2 ...
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Water saving toilets
Ghost Whisperer
This Friday is the 13th.  Let the spooky stuff begin! Students can play this game online at Ghost Whisperer Crystal Ball and Figure out why it works. Construct viable arguments Critique the ...
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Ghost Whisperer
Immigration numbers
Here's an opportunity to work with calculating percents and the percent changes in the U.S. immigrant population. Students can reflect on what those changes demonstrate. Start your class with this ...
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Immigration numbers
Columbus Day and navigating into the infinite-looking ocean
The Niña Columbus Day is a bit of an enigma that used to be celebrated throughout all of the Americas.  Columbus's mission and arrival are now thought to have not been ...
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Columbus Day and navigating into the infinite-looking ocean
Uh oh! Am I going to run out of data?
Let your students consider the graphic first individually and then in groups of your choosing before handing out the activity sheet. This might be an excellent beginnng-of-the-year, get-to-know-each-other task!  The ...
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Uh oh!  Am I going to run out of data?
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 on the wall.  Have kids pick a sandwich.  Which size ...
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Should I get the Big One?
Layla’s antibiotics
The dosage of Layla's medication was confusing to our friend Kim.  How many days was she supposed to give Layla the meds?  How many pills does she need to cut ...
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Layla's antibiotics
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 ...
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Fantasy Football
Will the new iPhone sales be huge?
Apple just announced their new, 10th anniversary, iPhones, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X.  These phones will soon be in stores, the iPhone 8 comes out on September 22, ...
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Will the new iPhone sales be huge?
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 ...
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BIG Snickers bar
How much does the biggest Lego set ever cost?
Note: This is a remake of our 2014 "How Much Does a Lego Cost" activity How much could the Lego Millennium Falcon cost? Student first make a guess and then ...
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How much does the biggest Lego set ever cost?
Hurricanes
The official Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1 and doesn’t end until November 30th. Now Hurricane Irma is approaching Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and Florida. Encourage your ...
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Hurricanes
Going back to school posts
Who's going back to school? - Students calculate the historical changes in U.S. population percentages of people who are going back to school and try to formulate reasons for these variations. 6.EE, ...
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Going back to school posts
Labor Day, 2017
In this short activity, students learn the meaning and history of Labor Day as they look for patterns emerging from the Labor Day dates over the past years. Students then ...
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Labor Day, 2017
Have you seen more monarch butterflies lately?
In mid-August and early September, the Monarch butterflies begin their annual migration south to more moderate climates to hibernate and overwinter.  It is an incredibly long migration and fascinating to ...
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Have you seen more monarch butterflies lately?
Does it pay to get educated?
Updated! Why should students do well in school, graduate high school, or go on to college?  In this activity median earnings by various education levels are explored.  Students compare the ...
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Does it pay to get educated?
How many baseballs are in this truck?
To see this poster larger in a new window, click on the image. Old Dominion Freight Line is offering 2 free tickets to the next 3 World Series to the ...
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How many baseballs are in this truck?
How much does it cost to send you back to school?
Back to school spending is huge and students might not appreciate what it costs to send them back to, essentially, their job of learning.  In this activity students decide what ...
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How much does it cost to send you back to school?
Total solar eclipse – apparent sizes
Where will the eclipse be seen?  What if you are not in the path of totality?  Total solar eclipse?  What is apparent size?  How can the moon seem to cover ...
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Total solar eclipse - apparent sizes
Perseids meteor showers coming soon
Catching a productive meteor shower can be a stunning experience.  On the evenings and mornings of August 11th and 12th there is hope of a good show.  A three-quarters moon ...
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Perseids meteor showers coming soon
Who’s going back to school?
Updated! In this investigation students calculate the percentage of the U.S. population (current and historically) that are enrolled in K-12 schools. They are asked to draw conclusions from these variations ...
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Who's going back to school?
Drill bit fractions
Act One:  Drill bits are measured by the diameter of the bit in inches. The drill bits below are ordered left to right in increasing size. The numerators in the ...
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Drill bit fractions
Only 10 cents for all-you-can-eat ice cream?
All the ice cream that you can eat for only 10 cents!  Wow, that's a great deal!  How great a deal was that? The history of the Dairy Queen franchise ...
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Only 10 cents for all-you-can-eat ice cream?
How many times bigger?
Listen to students initial thoughts as they wrestle through what "bigger" means ... length? height? wheel-base? volume? ...
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How many times bigger?
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 ...
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Willy Makit and Betty Wont
Really big beach towel
Act One: Check out this beach towel!  What do you wonder? What would you like to know? Miami artist, Misael Soto (pictured on the left below), created this giant art project to ...
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Really big beach towel
Giant iceberg breaks off from Antarctica
The crack in Antarctica's Larson C ice shelf has been growing for years.  Has the speed of the rift's growth stayed about the same? increased? decreased?  Do the math and ...
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Giant iceberg breaks off from Antarctica
Drinks at the Fair
At the amusement park, our friend, Jason, was intrigued with this sign for drink deals. He and his family come often to the park and, during the summer when it ...
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Drinks at the Fair
Maybe we should encourage bats instead of bug repellent
Bats eat mosquitoes ... lots of mosquitoes. Students compare a bat's weight to how much he can consume in one night.  They calculate how much they would need to eat ...
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Maybe we should encourage bats instead of bug repellent
Jorge just turned 12. How old is he in human years?
My dog, Jorge, has just turned 12 years old.  He still seems like a puppy to me but I wonder how old he is when compared to a human's age ...
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Jorge just turned 12. How old is he in human years?
Fibonacci coloring
Lots of people enjoy coloring books. Evidently people who like to multitask can find a means of calming their energies and reach a peaceful place by simply coloring designs.  Coloring in ...
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Fibonacci coloring
Fireworks on your calculator
Let your students experiment with their graphing calculators to create a nice fireworks display?  We've written a brief activity that questions students about manipulating parabolas, adjusting their calculator windows, and helping them ...
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Fireworks on your calculator
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 our front porch. How many cars are there? Is it ...
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How many cars are there?
Saving Water Bottles
In my grocery store they now have these new water bottle refilling stations. You can simply refill your own container with water instead of buying a six-pack of bottled water ...
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Saving Water Bottles
Opening weekend of Wonder Woman
Can you tell from its opening weekend how much the new movie, Wonder Woman, might earn in theaters?  This activity can be used anytime and is especially timely when there ...
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Opening weekend of Wonder Woman
NBA Finals, 2017
Celebrate the NBA and NBA Finals by involving your students in interpreting what can be deduced from graphical representations.  In this activity students consider scatter plots, circle graphs, bar graphs, ...
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NBA Finals, 2017
How much pee is in that pool?
After chlorination, it has been hard to measure the quantity of pollutants in pool water.  A Canadian chemist, Xing-Fang Li, has found a marker for urine that chlorine doesn't disguise. In ...
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How much pee is in that pool?
Tick time and Lyme disease
With the start of summer and wonderful outdoor activities, it might be good to examine the growth of Lyme disease occurrences in the United States.  The Center for Disease Control ...
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Deer tick
New Pirates of the Caribbean – How profitable?
The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie opened on Friday, May 26th. Your students might be looking forward to seeing this movie and motivated to understand the investment expenses and profit ...
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New Pirates of the Caribbean - How profitable?
Memorial Day 2017
This Monday Americans will celebrate Memorial Day.  Who are we honoring?  How did the holiday come about?  Isn't Memorial Day usually on May 30th? Students learn a little about the history ...
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Memorial Day 2017
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 ...
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Fidget spinners - fad or lasting trend?
Triple Crown hopeful at the Preakness Stakes
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 ...
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Triple Crown hopeful at the Preakness Stakes
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 ...
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Proposed southern border wall
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, ...
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Mother's Day activities
A gorgeous, glittery Mother’s Day card
Uh oh!  How do you find the area of a heart? Get your students to help you calculate how many sequins you'll need to order for this mother's day class ...
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A gorgeous, glittery Mother's Day card
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 ...
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Measuring sea level
Who had the greatest NBA season ever?
Just updated! Russel Westbrook had one of the most dominating seasons ever, averaging nearly 32 points, 8 assists and 11 rebounds a game!  He set a record with 42 triple ...
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Who had the greatest NBA season ever?
Giant iceberg
Over the past Easter weekend this giant iceberg drifted passed Ferryland, Newfoundland.  Its hard to tell how large it actually is but it looks huge.  Use some of the data ...
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Giant iceberg
NFL draft picks 2017
Every spring, roughly 250 college football players are drafted by NFL teams through the NFL draft.  Team rosters, careers, and multi-million dollar contracts are on the line ...  This is ...
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NFL draft picks 2017
Chicken to share
How many pieces does each person get when $10 is supposed to feed two people? ...
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Chicken to share
April’s calf was born!
At about 10:00 am, April 15th, April's calf was born.  Everyone will be talking about it and smiling constantly. Here's some fun math stuff to bring with you for Holiday ...
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April's calf was born!
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 ...
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Patriots' Day
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 ...
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YUMMY food for Passover
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 ...
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What does 95% confidence in the poll results mean?
Fun and crazy things to do for April Fools day
We have two classic puzzles for your April 1st class starters. PerplexingOne.pdf      PerplexingTwo.pdf CCSS: MP.1, MP3,4.OA, 5.G, 8.EE, 8.SP For members we have solutions. PerplexingOne-solution.pdf     PerplexingTwo-solution.pdf Or you ...
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Fun and crazy things to do for April Fools day
Pascal coloring and modular math
This is the third and final activity in the Pascal's Triangle series.  In this activity students again have the opportunity to color as they investigate Pascal's triangle and the patterns ...
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Pascal coloring and modular math
Greatest March Madness program
Based on this data, which do you think is the greatest March Madness program ever? Once students decide their “best program ever” challenge them use a different criteria than they ...
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Greatest March Madness program
Alarming ice cracks on Brunt Ice Sheet in Antarctica
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 ...
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Alarming ice cracks on Brunt Ice Sheet in Antarctica
March Madness – Does seeding really matter?
March Madness is the big 68 team college basketball tournament that takes over our TV viewing during the weekends of March. School and office friends are filling out brackets.  Engage ...
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March Madness - Does seeding really matter?
Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th
Green, green river - They're doing it again. In Chicago, the local plumbers union "dye" the Chicago River emerald green.  Students learn what PPM (parts per million) means and  attempt to ...
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Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th
The perfect bracket
Sunday night, March 12th, is Selection Sunday for the Men's March Madness Tournament.  Monday night, March 13th is the selection night for the Women's March Madness Tournament.  The March Madness ...
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The perfect bracket
Pi Day is coming!
Celebrate π in your school and in your math class with activities that demonstrate how π was derived; visually show why π makes sense; show a surprising place where π is used; increase students ...
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Pi Day is coming!
New baby giraffe
Willow weighed 125 pounds at birth and was 6 feet 1 inch tall.  She will grow to her adult height of around 14 feet tall in only four years! How ...
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New baby giraffe
Iditarod 2017
The Iditarod Dog Sled Race begins on Saturday, March 4th in Anchorage, Alaska. This long and grueling competition is called the Last Great Race on Earth. Students do some rate, distance, ...
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Iditarod 2017
Mardi gras – Fat Tuesday
Tuesday, February 28, 2017, will be the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent.  Mardi Gras is a last hoorah and is celebrated throughout the ...
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Mardi gras - Fat Tuesday
Will this be a leap year?
Will we have a 29th of February this year?  How can you tell? Students work with a flow chart to deduce what years are going to be leap years.  They ...
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Will this be a leap year?
Do better movies make the most money?
Newly updated! Do the "Best" movies make the most money?  How could you measure the "best" movie? What information would you need to make this judgement? Ten movies are nominated each year to ...
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Do better movies make the most money?
In honor of Presidents’ Day find out about President’s pay
You can't run for President now, but heck, 2036 is right around the corner. Being President of the United States will be quite an accomplishment and a ton of work ...
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In honor of Presidents' Day find out about President's pay
How did I graph this heart?
What equations did I use to make this beauty? algebraic-heart CCSS: 8.EE, 8.F, HSA, HSG ...
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How did I graph this heart?
Sweetheart candies
Here's some more Valentine's Day fun.  How many dollars worth of sweet hearts candies are sold each Valentine's season?  What more could kids want than Sweetheart candies, problem solving, critical ...
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Sweetheart candies
Have a heart
Clicking on the image above will show the heart larger in a new window.Canstruction® is an event hosted in more than 150 countries throughout the world to demonstrate "innovation, hunger relief  ...
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Have a heart
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 ...
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Chocolate heart-shaped raspberry cake
Super Bowl ads and scientific notation
On Monday, when the Super Bowl is over and all of the ads have been seen, use this scientific notation activity to involve math students in the talk of the ...
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Super Bowl ads and scientific notation
Super Bowl ad costs still increasing
Budweiser's "Puppy Love" commercial from Super Bowl XLIII Here's one more Super Bowl analysis to motivate your students: More than 5 million dollars for a 30-second ad.  That is how ...
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Super Bowl ad costs still increasing
Typical Super Bowl scores 2017
The Super Bowl is coming up!  Share a prediction for the score of the big game.  Don't just guess, use math to help you get a better idea of what ...
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Typical Super Bowl scores 2017
Super Bowl cheesy pretzel poppers
... A little more delicious work for the Super Bowl.  Students follow a recipe that involves "cutting the cheese" block, figuring how many servings, estimating how many times they need to ...
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Super Bowl cheesy pretzel poppers
Will Phil see his shadow?
Phil saw his shadow! February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil will again, with great ceremony, come out of his burrow and look for his shadow. There's nothing like a cute animal picture ...
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Will Phil see his shadow?
Super Bowl Numerals 2017
Super Bowl numbers are appearing again. As students start getting into the current Super Bowl hype, help them to understand the notation that the sports writers and advertisements are using. Introduce ...
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Super Bowl Numerals 2017
Lunar New Year, 2017
Lunar New Year begins on Saturday, January 28th. This will be the year of the Fire Rooster.  The year name is a combination of 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches ...
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Lunar New Year, 2017
Big Bucks
Giancarlo Stanton and Wayne Rooney signed big contracts recently, paying each of them millions.  Lets take a look at some of the world's biggest sports contracts from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB ...
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Big Bucks
Getting a new iPhone – which plan should I choose?
I want to get an iPhone8 and maybe change my service plan.  Which of the above plans should I choose? Student pick one plan and consider the cost of the phone and ...
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Getting a new iPhone - which plan should I choose?
Civil rights marches, how do you count a crowd?
On October 16, 1995, perhaps a million black men gathered for the Million Man March on Washington.  This was 32 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historic "I have ...
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Civil rights marches, how do you count a crowd?
The Star Wars phenomena continues
Rogue One has only recently come out and grossed nearly 300 million dollars in its opening weekend. We were curious about how often and how profitable the Star Wars movies ...
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The Star Wars phenomena continues
Home team advantage?
Even before your students check out the graphic below, ask them whether they think a game played at home gives their team an advantage.  If so, how much of an ...
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Home team advantage?
At least the days are getting longer
What's your guess as to how fast the number of daylight hours will change each day from now until June 21st?  Will the changes be dramatic? Will the lengthening days ...
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At least the days are getting longer
Is 2017 prime?
Every birthday I consider whether I'm in the prime of my life ... like when I was 29 years old.  Will this new year be a prime year?  I hope ...
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Is 2017 prime?
Earth’s Perihelion
On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn't that make this the warmest time of the year? In ...
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Earth's Perihelion
Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop
On Saturday evening, December 31st, 2016 at 12:59 pm, much of the world will be watching the iconic Times Square Tower's New Year's Eve ball drop 141 feet to the roof ...
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Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop
It’s latke time
In my family it is traditional to eat latkes (Yiddish for potato pancakes) at this time of year.  They are fried in a lot of oil and salted generously.  My ...
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It's latke time
Dark days, Winter solstice
Students appreciate how their latitude effects the darkness of their late afternoon location as they study the earth's tilt and the logic of daylight hours. The activity: winter-solstice2016.pdf CCSS: 7.G.3, HSG.C, ...
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Dark days, Winter solstice
Wrapping presents on the diagonal
Dr. Sara Santos is a popular mathematician and speaker on mathematics.  She has worked out a method for wrapping boxes (rectangular prisms) as efficiently as possible. (Watch the video above)  ...
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Wrapping presents on the diagonal
Do I have enough wrapping paper?
I have to wrap this box. In this problem based activity students first guess and then try to calculate whether they will have enough paper to wrap this present without taping ...
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Do I have enough wrapping paper?
What’s wrong with this picture?
We've gotten used to believing what we read or see advertised.  But sometimes the clerk doesn't get the sales discount right or something seems a little off.  Let students ponder ...
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What's wrong with this picture?
Christmas tree lights – How many do I need?
Check out our Christmas Tree.  You need to buy lights for the tree.  Without calculating, guess how many feet of lights you will need.What information do you need to better ...
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Christmas tree lights - How many do I need?
Giant macaroon nutcracker, revisited
Each year the Boston Ballet highlights the holiday season with the Nutcracker ballet.  In 2014, the Boston Ritz Carlton Hotel's chef, Andrew Yeo and his pastry team, created a gorgeous and ...
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Giant macaroon nutcracker, revisited
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 pick out exactly what you need. Use this PowerPoint activity ...
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Pick-a-brick wall at the Lego store
Consumer Spending 2016
We spend a lot of money as consumers in the U.S. In this activity we look at historical data to see if there are any patterns in our spending.  How ...
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Consumer Spending 2016
$10,000 a week or $10 million all at once?
Check out the video below: 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 ...
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$10,000 a week or $10 million all at once?
Fantastic Beasts – What did it cost to make?
In 2001, J.K.Rowling (the author of the Harry Potter series) wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie of this book opened on November 18th, 2016.  This is the ...
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Fantastic Beasts - What did it cost to make?
Shrinking Toblerone
They changed it.  That is so not fair ... or is it? You can check out a video news story on the delicious shrinking Toblerone bar here. Two sizes of ...
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Shrinking Toblerone
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 ...
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3 winners on the Price is Right - what are the chances?
Cubs bury curse !
Wow!  It's been a long time coming.  The Chicago Cubs just won the World Series! The last time they won the World Series was in 1908 (For some perspective, that ...
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Cubs bury curse !
Is the Electoral College vote similar to the Popular vote?
The winner of the Presidential Popular vote (November 8, 2016) is not always the same as the winner of the Electoral College vote (January 6, 2017). In this activity students ...
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Is the Electoral College vote similar to the Popular vote?
Cheap-otle?
One of my favorite foods is a burrito.  One of my favorite places to get a burrito is Chipotle.  Their food is delicious and environmentally friendly. For Halloween 2016, Chipotle is ...
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Cheap-otle?
Is the Electoral College unfair?
Show your students this really cute segment comparing how the Electoral College functions in our elections to what students think is fair and just. From the New York Times, Electoral College 101. After ...
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Is the Electoral College unfair?
Electoral College vs the Popular vote
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com Let your students see how votes really count with our activity on the Electoral College.  Can someone win the popular vote ...
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Electoral College vs the Popular vote
Collecting the most candy!
Use your student’s Halloween enthusiasm to do a study on volumes.  We’ve created an activity that asks students to calculate the volume of candy containers that are silly and intriguing ...
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Collecting the most candy!
Big Papi
Check out the video: What do you wonder? How many donuts make up this Big Papi tribute? What would be useful to help you figure this out? The following pictures ...
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Big Papi
Are these really 70% off?
We ran into this sale online. Is that advertisement correct?  Do they just want us to believe their math and not question what is really 70% off?  Is everything or ...
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Are these really 70% off?
Steepness and fall hiking
Fall is a beautiful time of year for hiking. Many students will be walking in the woods and mountains to enjoy the colorful leaves and the cool weather outside.  Let ...
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Steepness and fall hiking
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 ...
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Pascal's Triangle coloring and Probability
Fall equinox
Thursday, September 22nd of this year will be the Autumnal Equinox.  It is the time of year when the imaginary plane that might pass through the Earth's Equator would also ...
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Fall equinox
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 ...
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Another year of Never Ending Pasta
Extra Point or 2-Point Conversion?
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 ...
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Extra Point or 2-Point Conversion?
Big Aussie tomato
These Aussi tomatoes (the tomato on the left of all of the tomatoes) are huge.  How much do you guess one weighs? Can you figure it out? ...
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Big Aussie tomato
When organizing data is confusing? Venn diagrams for Rio?
There must be a lot of Olympians who haven't brought home medals.  Probably most of the athletes that went to Rio didn't win anything.  We couldn't find any data about this.  ...
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When organizing data is confusing? Venn diagrams for Rio?
Olympic Medal Table
Check out the two images of the 2008 summer Olympic medal counts.  What do you notice? How are the Olympic medal counts and standings determined? The Olympic Games are competitions ...
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Olympic Medal Table
Swimsuits – a drag?
To win in Olympic swimming, contestants have to be incredibly fit and have marvelous endurance and technique.  Do they also need to consider the science of their motions and their ...
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Swimsuits - a drag?
August meteor showers
Conditions will be favorable for excellent views of the Perseids meteor showers in early to mid-August.  Let students read charts, analyze data, work with percent of moon visibility at each ...
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August meteor showers
Which of the Olympic sports do you want to watch?
Develop some understanding of the many Olympic sports and their various judging requirements.  Should the Olympics only include performances that can be objectively measured? ...
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Which of the Olympic sports do you want to watch?
Monster cake
Jodie Berman, a high school math teacher in Chicago, loves mathematics and loves to cook.  We've created an activity based on her Monster Cake (composed of everything that Cookie Monster ...
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Monster cake
Pokémon GO! I should have invested
Pokémon GO is all the rage.  News reports show people glued to their smart phones as they travel to nearby landmarks where virtual critters appear and need to be caught ...
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Pokémon GO!  I should have invested
10 Million nematodes
Grubs are killing my grass.  I don't want to put poison into the ground.  What can I do? There are tiny roundworms called beneficial nematodes. They can kill destructive soil ...
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10 Million nematodes
How high can a gymnastic score be?
front row: Laurie Hernandez, MyKayla Skinner, Simone Biles, Ragan Smith back row: Ashton Locklear, Aly Raisman, Alyssa Baumann, Gabby Douglas MyKayla Skinner, Ragan Smith and Ashton Locklear were named as ...
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How high can a gymnastic score be?
Lighting the Olympic Torch
The 2016 Summer Olympic games won't begin until on August 5th of this year but already the Olympic Torch has been lit and is traveling to the game's site, Brazil, ...
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Lighting the Olympic Torch
Coloring with Pascal’s Triangle … Binomial expansion
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 ...
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Coloring with Pascal's Triangle ... Binomial expansion
The longest day
On Monday, June 20th, at 06:34 pm EST, the Earth's North Pole will be tilted as far towards the Sun as it will ever be in the year.  This marks the longest ...
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The longest day
Which is most expensive?
Who knew that creams for your face could be so expensive!  I'm going to have to rethink what to buy for my mom.  Which of these high priced cremes is ...
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Which is most expensive?
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 ...
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Games with dice
Leicester City Foxes – from underdogs to Champions
Recently, to the surprise and elation of England and the world, the Leicester City Foxes became the winners of the British football association's Premier League.  What was the big deal? ...
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Leicester City Foxes - from underdogs to Champions
Longest NHL overtime games in history
Game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup between the Bruins and Blackhawks went into 3 overtimes.  People stayed up way too late to watch the conclusion.  The teams played 112 ...
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Longest NHL overtime games in history
Flag Art
A little ratio art might be a fun way to get ready for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.  In this activity students measure; create whole number ratios for the official ...
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Flag Art
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 ...
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Pixar versus DreamWorks
How long until they collide?
Show the beginning of the video. Stop the video at about 39 seconds. Take guesses from students. After students have worked for a while and you have traveled around and selected ...
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How long until they collide?
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 ...
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Should I replace my toilets?
Powerball jackpot continues to rise in value
One winner last night in New Jersey!  Now the jackpot is back to ONLY 40 million. The Saturday night Powerball drawing is expected to have a winning Jackpot prize of $415,000,000 ...
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Powerball jackpot continues to rise in value
Double Discount
  Wow, check out this sale!  I'm gonna be able to get this great hoodie so cheap!   If I use the promo code what will be the total percent ...
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Double Discount
Will college be affordable?
Whether you or one of your siblings is going off to college next fall, it is useful to know how much colleges cost.  Not going to college this fall? No ...
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Will college be affordable?
How did they figure these tips?
Act I:  This restaurant bill has the suggested tips, but they are smudged out.  What should they be?  Consider having students make a fast 5 to 10 -second prediction in ...
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How did they figure these tips?
What’s my angle?
I'm going to help save the planet by adding solar panels to my roof! Should I tilt the panels on my roof to more accurately aim towards the Sun? If ...
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What's my angle?
Where do those convention delegate numbers come from?
We hear nightly about who won delegates in state elections.  But different states have different numbers of delegates.  How is that figured out?  Is it fair? The activity: Delegates.pdf Here's a ...
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Where do those convention delegate numbers come from?
The Boston Marathon
Monday, April 17, Patriot's Day, is the next running of the Boston Marathon. What do you know about marathons? What do you know about the Boston Marathon? How long do ...
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The Boston Marathon
David Price, big bucks per …
David Price, a 30-year old pitcher from Toronto's Blue Jays, was hired with a 7 year contract to be the Red Sox's new ace pitcher for $217 million dollars.  That ...
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David Price, big bucks per ...
Figuring planting dates
It's time to get ready to plant my garden again.  But here in Boston we have to start our seeds indoors to give them a head start before we can ...
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Figuring planting dates
Which is the best deal?
How do you calculate and justify which deal is a better savings?  By dollars saved?  By percent saved? By some other measure? The activity: WhichDealOffersMostValue.pdf CCSS: 4.OA, 4.NBT, 4.MD.A, 5.NBT, 6.RP, ...
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Which is the best deal?
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 ...
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How much do the tickets cost?
Giant chocolate bunnies
Topper Chocolate Easter Bunny from Dilettante Chocolates. What can you deduce about the bunnies (pictured in this activity) from the descriptions given ... solid? hollow? cost per pound? cost per height? ...
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Giant chocolate bunnies
“Go” in the news – man versus machine
March 9th was the first round of the competition between Lee Se-dol, one of the World's best Go players, and Google's artificial intelligence program "AlphaGo".  The first and second matches ...
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"Go" in the news - man versus machine
It’s Girl Scout cookie time
Have you ever wondered how the income from Girl Scout cookie sales is distributed to the individual girls, to their Troops, or to the organization? In this activity students learn a ...
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It's Girl Scout cookie time
How much did the temperature change in Boston?
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 ...
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How much did the temperature change in Boston?
How much snow is that?
Start out this activity with: What do you notice? What do you wonder? How many inches of snow produced that pile?  How much snow in volume is on top of the car? ...
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How much snow is that?
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 ...
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Who can play in this play area?
Windchill
When the weather person talks about wind chill did you ever wonder how they calculate that number?  In this activity students use the National Weather System chart to gauge wind ...
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Windchill
Pythagorean Triples + 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 ...
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Pythagorean Triples + coloring
Data on the National Mall sites
Activity #1 - Look at the individuals who are memorialized on the National Mall and using fractions or percents decide what you can notice about those we honor.  If you would ...
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Data on the National Mall sites
Timelines for the life and work of Martin Luther King
Monday will be the holiday celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Help students learn about his work towards racial equality as they create one or two ...
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Timelines for the life and work of Martin Luther King
How Many Pennies did Otha Save?
Otha Anders used picking up pennies as a way to remember to pray.  In this 3-act activity we try to estimate how much he actually collected and stored in 5 ...
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How Many Pennies did Otha Save?
Opening Weekend, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Can you tell from its opening weekend how much Star Wars: The Force Awakens will do in the long run? How much will it make in theaters?   This activity can be ...
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Opening Weekend, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to give away 99% of their shares of Facebook
That sounds like an awful lot of their Facebook shares.  They want to help create a better world for their daughter, Max. I wonder if they will have enough left ...
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Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to give away 99% of their shares of Facebook
Hexadecimal colors or paint by number
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 ...
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Hexadecimal colors or paint by number
Soda Menorah
Happy Holidays! This Soda Menorah was on display in a Florida Target store.  It is made up entirely of 12-packs of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out ...
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Soda Menorah
Why does the date of Hanukkah keep changing?
Just updated for 2016! Saturday evening, December 24th, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much earlier in December last year. Why isn't it always ...
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Why does the date of Hanukkah keep changing?
Not enough mashed potatoes
Using his famous mashed potato recipe, Brian has asked students to change decimals to fractions, to calculate ingredient measures for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings, to explain their thinking in calculating these ...
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Not enough mashed potatoes
Rescue of the Chilean miners – The 33
On August 5, 2010, the San Jose copper-gold mine near Copiapó,Chile collapsed stranding 33 miners in a large cavern more than 2,000 feet below ground. A new movie has just ...
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Rescue of the Chilean miners - The 33
Glowing rectangles
People spend lots of time staring at their screens (glowing rectangles).  Kids spend hours each day using their cell phones, computers, tablets, television and more.  Use that interest to motivate ...
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Glowing rectangles
Free Pizza for a Whole Stadium?
Act One: Clemson Football Head Coach, Dabo Swinney, offered an amazing "poll party" with pizza for everyone if Clemson makes the College Football Playoffs in the last poll of the ...
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Free Pizza for a Whole Stadium?
What’s your favorite sport?
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 ...
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What's your favorite sport?
How much have doughnuts changed?
Part of the Smithsonian's Sally L. Steinberg Collection of Doughnut Ephemera -- Click on the image to see it larger. When you are working on volume in your class, you can ...
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How much have doughnuts changed?
Going bananas
What additional information would you like to know? Record your data from your investigation ... either from your own research or from what your teacher can supply. Use all the information ...
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Going bananas
Fall hiking and the Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is one long hiking trail that begins in Georgia and ends on Mount Katadin, Maine. Fall is a beautiful time to be outdoors or on the Trail ...
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Fall hiking and the Appalachian Trail
Oreo Stuffiness
There is yet another Oreo... ABC Breaking News This activity builds off the work that Dan Anderson's math class revealed about Original Oreos and Double Stuff Oreos. Students begin by ...
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Oreo Stuffiness
How much can my DVR record?
How many hours of HD video can my DVR strore? How about SD video? I love my DVR.  I can record my shows and movies and watch them whenever I ...
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How much can my DVR record?
Let’s get rich
There has been a lot of craziness in the stock market lately, but people who have invested their money in the markets could have made a lot of money in ...
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Let's get rich
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 ...
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How Much is a Tweet Worth?
Weather extremes
This year has brought torrential rains to Texas after years of severe draught. February was the coldest month ever in much of the midwest and Northeast US.  Pakistan and India have ...
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Weather extremes
In the Cloud
I want to find a way to keep my photos, documents, videos and music in a place that is safer than on my computer.  If my Macbook Air melts, where ...
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In the Cloud
Free Flights?
This can't be right!  If my flight cost $200 and I stayed for 10 days it would be free.  Right?  You can kick off this activity by asking students to think ...
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Free Flights?
New Horizons spacecraft observes Pluto
The New Horizon space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on January 19, 2006. It has now come close to Pluto and has sent its first close-up images back to Earth ...
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New Horizons spacecraft observes Pluto
The spread of Lyme disease
With the start of summer and wonderful outdoor activities, it might be good to examine the growth of Lyme disease occurrences in the United States.  The Center for Disease Control ...
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Deer tick
Jock tax
Great professional athletes make a lot of money. In November slugger Giancarlo Stanton signed a thirteen year contract for over $325 million with the Miami Marlins!  Did you know that professional ...
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Jock tax
What’s with the plovers?
Cute little birds.  Piping plovers are presently nesting on beaches along the Atlantic coast. Consequently beaches are often roped-off or closed to protect their nests and chicks.  Is this conservation ...
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What's with the plovers?
Thank you, mother and father, for all of those diapers
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 ...
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Thank you, mother and father, for all of those diapers
How Old Are You?
We usually give our ages in years, but that isn't very precise is it?  In this activity students find their age in days, hours and minutes.  First students take two ...
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How Old Are You?
Odds of winning the Triple Crown
American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown !!! How do you calculate compound probability?  Skip the betting odds and deal only with the odds that one horse could win 3 amazing ...
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Odds of winning the Triple Crown
Big Burger
In honor of International Hamburger Day (May 28, 2015), it's time to treat your students to ratios, proportions, fractions and BIG BURGERS! In this activity students explore the ratio of ...
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Big Burger
Which is better … original movies or their sequels?
We've gathered some data on movie ratings and their sequels and asked students to analyze the data, decide on some graphing analysis and debate (with their mathematical data) which are ...
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Which is better ... original movies or their sequels?
Tornadoes
Tornadoes have devastated the Great Plains of the U.S. in the last few days.  Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas and Kansas have been brutally hit with these powerful events. Involve your students ...
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Tornadoes
Triple Crown possibilities, 2015
Updated for 2017! American Pharaoh was the first horse to win not only the Triple Crown but also the Breeder's Cup race = Grand Slam!  Never done before. Involve your ...
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Triple Crown possibilities, 2015
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 ...
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How Many Donuts is That?
Growth of Facebook update
Facebook is so accepted in our world today that it is even part of nightly news broadcasts as people are noted for receiving huge numbers of likes in appreciation or ...
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Growth of Facebook update
Earthquake magnitudes, Nepal
Nepal has just experienced several tremendous earthquakes and aftershocks causing massive damage and loss of life. The IRIS (Incorporated Research Institute of Seismology) Seismic Monitor will allow your class to visualize the most ...
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Earthquake magnitudes, Nepal
California water measurements – chains, links, and furlongs
Help your students understand what they are reading or hearing about the California drought.  Terms like acre-feet, chains, and furlongs are often used to describe the volume of the reservoirs ...
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California water measurements - chains, links, and furlongs
McDonalds moves towards antibiotic-free chicken
Recently McDonald's announced that by 2016 they will use only chicken raised without the antibiotics that are used in human medicine.  McDonald's plans to join Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, Chiptotle, and ...
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McDonalds moves towards antibiotic-free chicken
Can you predict the Bears’ 2015 schedule and win big?
This year, the Chicago Bears have created a schedule-predicting contest with the prize being two tickets to all 16 home and away games. Plus air fare and lodging for the ...
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Can you predict the Bears' 2015 schedule and win big?
Peeps
How many Peeps are sold at Easter time each year? Treat your students to some authentic and delicious Easter math.  Students estimate the number of Peeps sold each Easter season ...
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Peeps
Passover macaroons
Passover begins this year on Monday evening, April 10th, 2017, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish religion and celebrates the ...
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Passover macaroons
Movie tickets over time
How Much Will Movie Tickets Cost in the Future? We've just updated this activity. In this investigation, Brian looks at the changes in movie ticket prices over the last 30 years ...
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Movie tickets over time
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 ...
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Chili Con Queso
2015 World Cup Cricket
The Cricket World Cup is being played now in Australia and New Zealand.  This is a complex game that seems to be played with enthusiasm and humor.  In this activity ...
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2015 World Cup Cricket
Huge Key Lime pie
On a cold and snowy day in Boston, two chefs created a huge Key Lime pie to remind the frozen people of the Northeast how tasty and warm the Keys ...
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Huge Key Lime pie
Which Sweet Hearts are the Best Deal?
 I have been doing a little shopping for Sweet Heart Candies. I came across these three deals online.  Which should I select?  In this activity students determine which package of ...
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Which Sweet Hearts are the Best Deal?
A parametric heart … with love
Valentine's Day is a good excuse to explore parametric equations. First students figure the coordinates of this figure using trigonometric unit triangles. Then they simplify and accelerate this task with ...
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A parametric heart ... with love
Clean Close Shave
Take a look at the infographic.  What do you see? What do you think?  What do you wonder? In this lesson students compare NFL QB rating of quarterbacks with and without ...
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Clean Close Shave
Deflategate
The deflated ball controversy makes an interesting segue into negative number line understanding.  A particular digital psi football gauge reads 0 when the ball is at a proper NFL inflation of ...
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Deflategate
Do you have text neck?
What does looking down at your electronic device do to your breathing? To your muscles? To your spine curvature? To your pain?  It can lead to a condition called Text ...
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Do you have text neck?
Cost of a gallon of gas
In 1950, one gallon of gasoline costs $0.27.  Today the prices are going down but are they as low as they were in 1950?  Or could $0.27 buy more in ...
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Cost of a gallon of gas
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 really great teams! But wait, the 2014-15 Carolina Panthers made ...
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Losing team in the playoffs, 2015
Soda Santa
Happy Holidays! This Soda Santa is made up entirely of 12-pack cans of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out the activity by giving kids 30 seconds to ...
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Soda Santa
How much does a Lego cost?
This is a three act task, with an activity guide.  Show students the act one video.  What questions do they have?  How much could the Star Wars kit cost?  Follow ...
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How much does a Lego cost?
Done with the leaves … now for the snow
Brian has spent too much time analyzing his leaf raking. He has created an investigation that asks students to calculate how long it would take different numbers of rakers to ...
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Done with the leaves ... now for the snow
The V~o~r~t~e~x
Weather has been extreme in the U.S. lately.  Use this incredible media topic to engage your students in integer subtraction, analysis, understanding, practice and confidence building. CCSS: 7.NS.1, 7.NS.3, MP2 ...
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The V~o~r~t~e~x
Rush or Pass?
With only 16 games in an NFL regular season every game and every play is crucial.  Teams need to win each week or jobs are on the line. To win ...
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Rush or Pass?
Delicious pumpkin pie
I make the best, best, really best pie. Every year more and more people come to our house on Thanksgiving morning for my famous pumpkin pie and a hike in ...
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Delicious pumpkin pie
How much should you spend on this sale?
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 ...
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How much should you spend on this sale?
Nobel Prizes
This is the medal that is given to the Nobel prize winners.  Check it out. (Teachers, you could get into Roman numerals right here.)       LittleRomanNumeralLesson.pdf What do you know ...
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Nobel Prizes
Kilauea’s lava flow
The volcano, Kilauea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, has been active and erupting since 2008.  There are two lava flows at present and one is now approaching homes on ...
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Kilauea's lava flow
Macy’s Star Rewards Points
Wow! Check out this deal at Macy's.  For $25 I can join Macy's Star Rewards program.  I get 10% back in rewards for every dollar I spend.  Its pretty cool that ...
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Macy's Sale
How large a TV should I get?
This is a great looking room, but do you see what is wrong with this picture? Whether you are in middle school or high school, someday you are going to ...
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How large a TV should I get?
MAVEN arrives at Mars
Recently the MAVEN spacecraft (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) that was launched on November  18, 2013 reached Mars and attained an elongated orbit around the planet.  How does someone ...
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MAVEN arrives at Mars
Ebola updated
Ebola has continued to gain strength and devastate regions of West Africa.  WHO (World Health Organization) updates their data frequently and the progress and lack of control of the epidemic ...
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Ebola updated
Doubling your money
My friend and I were arguing about how long it would take me to double my investment amounts.  How will your students figure this out?  Are there any tricks?  Explore ...
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Doubling your money
Saffron and paella
In order to cook Paella (a delicious Spanish rice dish) I needed to buy Saffron spice.  It was hugely expensive.  So, I've decided to start a business of growing saffron ...
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Saffron and paella
The spread of Ebola in West Africa
Ebola is a deadly virus that has reappeared in Western Africa in an outbreak that began in February of this year.  We've supplied you with weekly statistics on the progression ...
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The spread of Ebola in West Africa
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 ...
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Wheel of Theodorus
How many wins is Lebron worth?
Lebron recently left the Miami Heat to go back home to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he began his professional career.  Lebron is arguably the best player in the NBA and ...
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How many wins is Lebron worth?
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 introduced to the ratio table as a tool for determining equivalent ratios ...
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Cheesy Goldfish crackers
Typhoon Neoguri approaching Japan
A powerful typhoon has just passed Okinawa, Japan's southern-most prefecture, and is expected to continue to be very powerful.  What is a typhoon?  How are they scaled? In this activity students ...
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Typhoon Neoguri approaching Japan
Pizza Deals
Check out the new Flatizza from Subway. If the slice of pizza is from an 18-inch pizza cut into eight pieces, which deal is better when comparing area of pizza ...
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Pizza Deals
Three great World Cup activities
World Cup ranking - Students explore the ranking formulated from each team's previous 4 years of play in their geographical divisions.  The formula is complex and weighted. Is it fair?  5.OA, ...
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Three great World Cup activities
World Cup – How many ways?
present world cup scores How many games are played in each round of the World Cup?  In the opening round each of the four teams in a group must play ...
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World Cup - How many ways?
World Cup draw
This is part II of our reflections on the World Cup games.  Part I, World Cup rankings, explained and let students practice with the formula and weighting that is used ...
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World Cup draw
California Chrome’s Lineage
Alas.  California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown.  Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes. This Saturday is the final race of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing ... the ...
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California Chrome's Lineage
World Cup rankings
In December the soccer teams with the strongest world rankings were chosen to play in the once-every-4-years World Cup. The team rankings are calculated in a pretty complex manner. How ...
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World Cup rankings
The growth of Godzilla
Image from Kris Holt: http://www.policymic.com/articles/76357/the-scary-way-godzilla-has-evolved-through-the-years-in-one-chart The new Godzilla movie is out at theaters.  His first appearance was in 1954 when he was created in Japan and crushed Tokyo.  He appears to ...
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The growth of Godzilla
An ounce of cola
Which is more expensive; gasoline? milk? or cola?  Students calculate the per ounce cost of each of these liquids in a story about a man doing errands.  After finding the ...
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An ounce of cola
Cost of light bulbs – updated!
Finally 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 ...
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Cost of light bulbs - updated!
The Blue Marble
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, is Earth Day. Use this activity to demonstrate the various mappings of our 3-d Earth to a 2-d piece of paper. Students compare maps with this famous ...
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The Blue Marble
Mom’s matzo ball soup
Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 22nd, 2016, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish calendar and celebrates the ...
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Mom's matzo ball soup
Pizza party
In this activity students decide how to divide 2 pizzas amongst 6 adults and 3 pizzas amongst 8 kids.  Fractional pizza parts need to be drawn and considerations discussed about ...
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Pizza party
Blue river
Because the Cubs just won the World Series, the plumbers have died the river blue. During the St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago, the local plumbers union dyes the Chicago ...
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Blue river
Shamrock Shake
For Saint Patrick's Day add a little nutrition math to your celebration.  In this post we look at calories, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins to decide what would be left ...
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Shamrock Shake
Someone ate my cake!
In this fraction operation and representation activity, students are asked to decide how much of my cake was eaten. Using fraction multiplication (or angle measure if that is where you ...
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Someone ate my cake!
Olympic reflection
After the games Thomas Ulsrud, Norwegian curler;  Eun-Ryung Sung, South Korean single luge  Dachhiri-Sherpa, Nepalese cross-country;  Jason Brown, U.S.figure skating The 2014 Winter Olympics have concluded.  Which country had the ...
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Olympic reflection
Too early in the day for so many choices
Dunkin Donuts is promoting variety in their mixtures of hot chocolate.  Let your students try to figure out how many ways they can create their drink as they calculate the ...
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Too early in the day for so many choices
Highest grossing movies
Let your students develop their own ideas about compounded percent change while they have the opportunity to speak about the upcoming Academy Awards show. Worldwide box office income is compared ...
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Highest grossing movies
Where have all the flowers … come from?
Tuesday, February 14, 2017, is Valentine's Day.  Start the "love hoopla" with this graphic on where all of the flowers come from.  This is part of the graphic from http://visual.ly/valentines-day-facts What ...
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Where have all the flowers ... come from?
Scoring Olympic ski jumping
The scoring rubric for each of the Olympic events is intended to eliminate the possibility of scoring bias from the judges.  Let your students learn more about the scoring of ...
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Scoring Olympic ski jumping
Which TV is the Best Deal?
Check out the TVs.  All have essentially the same features, only the size of the screen varies.  Which TV do you think is the best deal?Explore area and unit pricing ...
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Which TV is the Best Deal?
The winter Olympics torch trip
Olympic torches are being carried to the deepest lake, the highest European mountain, into space, and around the host country to bring the Olympic flame to Sochi on February 7, ...
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The winter Olympics torch trip
4th down
It's 4th down.  Should you go for it?  Punt?  Kick a field goal?  Instead of using your gut, use research, data and math to make the right call ... The graph ...
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4th down
HDTV Surprise!
How were your holidays?  Your school vacation?  Mine was good. I surprised my family with this HDTV, which I wrapped and hung on our wall.  The size of an HDTV ...
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HDTV Surprise!
Moneymaking holiday movies
Which movie do you think is the highest grossing holiday movie of all time (click on the movie to see its trailer)? How the Grinch Stole Christmas,  Elf,  The Santa ...
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Moneymaking holiday movies
Amazing LEGO Fireman
At the Toys R Us store, I saw an amazing LEGO creation.  He was a life-sized LEGO fireman with a walkie-talkie, an oxygen tank and even an oxygen tank gauge ...
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Amazing LEGO Fireman
Best Sports City
My friend from Boston created this list of cities that had won championships (in the last 10 years) in the four major national leagues. What does this list make you ...
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Best Sports City
Asian giant hornets
Vespa mandarinia In AnKang, China in Shaanxi province, giant hornets have injured and killed scores of people.  Government officials are now trying to eradicate these insect's hives and have destroyed about ...
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Asian giant hornets
Chocolates and area
Halloween means lots of candy and chocolate.  In this activity students approximate the volume (through finding the morsel's base area) of three different pieces of chocolate.  The chocolates are shaped ...
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Chocolates and area
How much should a World Series commercial cost?
Click on this picture to see it larger in a new window. We all know that a Super Bowl commercial costs a ton of money.  What about a World Series ...
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How much should a World Series commercial cost?
Nobel prize in physics 2013
François Englert and Peter W. Higgs François Englert and Peter W. Higgs were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass. In 1964, ...
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Nobel prize in physics 2013
Do teams that spend a lot win a lot?
First ask students to look at the table below.  What do you notice?  What does it make you wonder? ...
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Do teams that spend a lot win a lot?
Really old “New Math”
Tom Lehrer is a singer, songwriter, satirist, pianist and mathematician who has written some wonderful songs. In 1959 he wrote a song called "New math".  At that time, much of ...
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Really old "New Math"
How much caffeine?
We stumbled upon this interesting caffeine infographic at visual.ly. Wonderings? How many McDonalds coffees do I need to get the same amount of caffeine that I would get in a Starbucks ...
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How much caffeine?
California wildfire
Wildfires are burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park.  In this activity we ask students to examine various maps of this California region, calculate distances using map ...
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California wildfire
U. S. Open Tennis Tournament
The U.S. Open is about to get underway in New York City.  It is possibly the biggest tennis tournament in the world. We've updated our numbers and focused on the ...
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U. S. Open Tennis Tournament
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 ...
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Bits, bytes, and nibbles
Raising the bar
Recovery of the treasure from the 1941 sinking of the S.S. Gairsoppa was recently completed and a huge amount of silver was brought up from the ocean floor.  Let your students ...
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Raising the bar
Crop circles
In the travel section of our newspaper this week, Wiltshire, England was a recommended destination to see Stonehendge and crop circles  ...........  crop circles? Many of the crop circles in ...
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Crop circles
Methane math
Carbon dioxide and methane are our two most prevalent human-contributed greenhouse gases.  This holstein cow is one of many huge contributors to our methane production.  Let students calculate percentages of ...
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Methane math
My teacher says this stream is parabolic. Is he correct?
Instead of asking students to just believe what you've said, why not ask them to verify your assertions?  Students plot the points of the stream, perhaps map them with an ...
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My teacher says this stream is parabolic.  Is he correct?
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 ...
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Souvenirs and concessions
Father’s Day blueberry surprise
Sunday is Father's Day and there is still time to have a tiny fraction review in the guise of celebrating Father's Day. This is a short activity that asks students ...
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Father's Day blueberry surprise
Ladder figuring
Brian can't even go to his town's spring festival without seeing math. Let your class approximate the height or length of this ladder by using the relative size of the ...
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Ladder figuring
Big gulp
Do you or your students love sugary drinks?  What if it were against the law to order a large sugary drink where you lived?  On September 13th, 2012 the New ...
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Big gulp
Cicada swarmaggedon
Most of the life cycle of the Magicicada Septendecim is spent underground.  Then at 17 year intervals, these cicadas emerge from the ground, climb deciduous trees, molt into adults, mate, ...
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Cicada swarmaggedon
Jackie Robinson
The movie "42" is the story of Jackie Robinson, a baseball player who became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball since the game was segregated in the 1890’s. Robinson broke the baseball color ...
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Jackie Robinson
Patriots’ Day
Monday, April 17th, 2017, is the official holiday this year to remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War 242 years ago in 1775. (The actual ...
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Patriots' Day
Season 12, American Idol
Let your student study American Idol viewing figures over the last eleven seasons. Students compare historical season premier and season finale audience size in several different ways to determine which ...
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Season 12, American Idol
Albert Pujols … On Pace? 2013
Albert Pujols, entering into his 13th year as a MLB player in 2013 could be on pace to break lots of records!  In 2012 Albert signed a 10-year $240 million ...
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Albert Pujols ... On Pace? 2013
Foil prank
Robert Kaplinsky kindly contributed this post.  We think it would make a great April Fools day activity. Check out his site for more great lesson ideas. Watch this movie with your ...
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Foil prank
Lifespan of a meme, the Harlem Shake
Five friends who skateboard and video tape made up a strange dance one afternoon and filmed it on February 2nd.  Now the whole world knows them and their dance ...
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Lifespan of a meme, the Harlem Shake
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 ...
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Cruising
Snow Days
Here are some pictures from a recent snowfall at my house.  How Much Snow Did I Get?  Have students make an estimate.  Ask them for a guess that is probably ...
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Snow Days
Chocolates
Valentine's Day is here again and that means candies and chocolate.  In this activity students approximate the volume (through finding surface area) of three different pieces of chocolate.  The chocolates ...
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Chocolates
Voyager on the edge
The two Voyager space probes are in the news recently as they approach the edge of our solar system.  Scientist can tell that the Voyager's environments are changing.  They are ...
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Voyager on the edge
Happy 14th B’ak’tun!
Clicking on this map of the Mayan territories will open it larger and in a new window Luckily, we’ve passed 12/21/2012 and the world is still here and we’ve made ...
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Happy 14th B'ak'tun!
Whole lot of cookies
Jennifer Fairbanks from Hopkinton, MA sent us this picture of the cookies that she baked in 4 hours using 13 eggs and 5 cups of sugar. Do you see some ...
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Whole lot of cookies
Monopoly 2014
In the board game, Monopoly, does a property’s distance from GO correlate to its rent when you land on it ? Using Brian’s spread sheet (list of properties, distance from ...
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Monopoly 2014
How many movies can you see in one day?
Robert Kaplinsky at robertkaplinsky.com shared this lesson idea with Yummymath. With plenty of days off from school coming up you plan to spend a day at the movie theater.  You ...
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How many movies can you see in one day?
Twinkies
Brian loves Twinkies and the news that Hostess is going out of business has upset him terribly.  He needs his Twinkies.  Twinkies last forever.  Right?  He's going to buy enough ...
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Twinkies
The Fiscal Cliff – sounds scary
We've used a graphic to help students understand what is meant by the Fiscal Cliff.  Students will understand some of the terms and study the consequences of two upcoming scenarios ...
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The Fiscal Cliff - sounds scary
Shopping season begins!
Friday, November 23rd marks the beginning of the holiday shopping craze.  Students will be able to add some understanding and analysis to those shopping trips after calculating savings in dollars ...
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Shopping season begins!
Is this possible?
Brian Shoemaker, a Newton, MA mathematics teacher, saw this Dunkin Donuts Mazda traveling down the road.  He wondered if that size coffee cup could really have coffee in it.  Wouldn't ...
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Is this possible?
Stacking Jack
Act One: Check out the video slide show.  What questions do you have? The Activity: Stacking Jack Suggested Question: How many different ways can I stack Jack?  That is, how many ...
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Stacking Jack
Starbucks, 2012
Time to give students some authentic math on a topic they will surely be interested in ... Starbucks.  We ask and answer a few questions in this activity. About how ...
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Starbucks, 2012
Humongous vegetables of Alaska
This summer I visited Alaska and truly enjoyed the majesty of the Alaskan scenerey and the many accomplished people that I met. At the time that I was there, the ...
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Humongous vegetables of Alaska
Penny Wars
Act One: Check out all of the pennies! What questions come to mind? If you want the most money, which container should you pick? What information do you need to ...
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Penny Wars
Curiosity landed on Mars
Keep your students up on what's happening in space while analyzing Curiosity's speed, the speed of a radio transmission from Mars, and the deceleration involved in a "sky crane" landing ...
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Curiosity landed on Mars
Olympic schedule
I found this graphic online that should help me figure out when to try to watch an Olympic event on any day.  The chart seems a little confusing.  Can your ...
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Olympic schedule
What time is it in Cambodia?
I need help!  My daughter is traveling in Cambodia and we are supposed to Skype just before her dinner time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  What time is that here in ...
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What time is it in Cambodia?
Particle News
After almost 50 years of looking for the subatomic particle that could validate our standard model of physics, two teams working at the Large Hedron Collider (LHC) have both concluded ...
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Particle News
My Facebook IPO investment
What is an IPO?  Are they always good investments? Students analyze charts and data, learn a little about investing, calculate percent loss (unfortunately), and make some Facebook stock projections. facebook-IPO.pdf ...
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My Facebook IPO investment
Legos
Act One: The world record for the tallest structure made of Legos was recently set in Seoul, South Korea.  Check out the pictures and video below: How much do you estimate that ...
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Legos
Fish tale, go figure
Whoa!  I have two fish in my aquarium.  Betty, my white goldfish always stays really close to the front wall as she swims towards her food.  However, Stripe, my striped ...
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Fish tale, go figure
Pythagorean Theorem
Use this activity to help your students discover the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagorean theorem work is often skill and drill work with contrived right triangle problems.  In this activity students work ...
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Pythagorean Theorem
Watson save
We can't get enough NFL.  Check out the video above that revisits a truly great NFL playoff play. In the 2005 AFC divisional championship game between the New England Patriots ...
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Watson save
Storm cleanup
This activity could be used as an introduction to trig ratios.  Students figure out the approximate length of the huge branch that I have to fell for safety and firewood ...
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Storm cleanup
Video game download
How long will it take me to download the video game? This can be done as a 3 Act Task.  To get started simply show the video and following picture ...
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Video game download
Budget 2012
Visit this debt clock website and ask students to make some observations, http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/unitedstates What do you see happening on this clock? When will the U. S. hit the next trillion dollars ...
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Budget 2012
It sure is cold out … or is it?
Students ponder the relationship between place latitudes and average January temperatures while they try to discover a correlation. Is this a linear or near linear relationship? … averaging, missing data ...
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It sure is cold out ... or is it?
Linsanity
Jeremy Lin is the New York Knicks most startling player.  His story is exciting in that he graduated from Harvard in 2010 and was not immediately drafted into the NBA ...
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Linsanity
All Star Game 2012
The NBA All Star game is being held on February 26th.  Did you know that this was the third major professional sport all star game in the last month. The ...
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All Star Game 2012
Throwing up again
Anchorage, Alaska has received more than 100 inches of snow this winter.  The height of the tunnel to people's homes is getting higher and higher. When they shovel an area, ...
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Throwing up again
Valentine’s Cardioid
WojciechSwiderski at the Polish language Wikipedia Happy Valentine's Day!              cardioid.pdf This PDF contains four ways students can draw cardioids for Valentine's Day ...
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Valentine's Cardioid
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 ...
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Negative Exponents? Ugh
Gumballs galore
Show Brian's video to your class and let your students cogitate, estimate and calculate. Sheet with only a still shot from the video and room for figuring: gumball-image.pdf We have ...
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Gumballs galore
The Euro and the international debt crisis
Lately the news is filled with talk of the Euro, US foreign debt, the fragility of European monetary systems, and the interdependence of all of these crisis. In this activity ...
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The Euro and the international debt crisis
Largest Cup of Coffee Ever!
The world record for the largest cup of coffee was recently set (see picture above).  In this activity students explore scale, similar figures, volume and measurement as they estimate the ...
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Largest Cup of Coffee Ever!
Launch of the next ISS crew
If all goes well, the next crew of the International Space Station (the ISS) will launch on Sunday, Novemeber 13, 2011 from the  Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Keep your student ...
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Launch of the next ISS crew
Parabolic Pee
Mr. Mark's new little baby can make some amazingly tall streams.  Give your class a little chuckle as you introduce them to parabolic motion with this very short analysis of ...
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Parabolic Pee
Happy Birthday Statue of Liberty
Friday is the Statue of Liberty's 125th birthday.  Student's can practice scaling with ratios, multiplication factors, or similar figures as they engage in the news of the day, learn a ...
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Happy Birthday Statue of Liberty
Approaching Seven Billion people
To see the present world population, go here.  http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ During the Fall 2011 the 7 billionth human on earth was born. The counter mentioned above gives updated approximations of the ...
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Approaching Seven Billion people
Occupy Wall Street protest is growing
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has grown since it began on September 17th.  Students can look at charts that show percent mentions of the demonstrations and calculate the percentage ...
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Occupy Wall Street protest is growing
QR codes ???
Your students have probably seen these images around and might not know why they are becoming popular for smart phone scanning ... and possibly dangerous.  Students figure out the number ...
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QR codes ???
Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011
"Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."... Apple CEO Tim Cook in a memo to Apple employees ...
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Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011
Bank of America Debit Card Fees
Millions of people and businesses use debit cards every day.  Banks didn't charge customers for their use. Banks actually gave rewards and incentives to customers for using them. So how ...
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Bank of America Debit Card Fees
Why Does it Stay in Orbit?
On Monday, the space shuttle Endeavor launched for the last time. The six astronauts on board docked this morning at the International Space Station to join the 6 astronauts and ...
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Why Does it Stay in Orbit?
Video game console sales
Video games continue to be a hot seller and a must-have for millions of gamers around the world. The recent releases of the Xbox 360 Kinect and the Nintendo 3DS ...
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Video game console sales
Radiation amounts
This investigation will help you and your students to better understand the magnitude of normal, background radiation and the more serious radiation exposure that comes from nuclear accidents.  Students will ...
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Radiation amounts
Rapunzel
Disney's animated movie, Tangled, came out in 2010. We've shown students some of the Brothers Grimm's original fairy tale along with giving them a glimpse at the physics involved in ...
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Rapunzel
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 ...
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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 ...
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Oil Spill!
Chocolate Milk and Mixture Problems
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 ...
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Chocolate Milk and Mixture Problems
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 ...
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Geometry of Flooding
Two to the … s
Let your students practice exponents, fractional exponents, and roots with this powerful assignment that asks them to compute impressive mathematics in their heads. If you list the values of various ...
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Two to the ... s
Quadratic formula on your calculator
You can program your TI calculator so that a quadratic equations can be solved quickly by just plugging the X ² coefficient, the X coefficient, and the constant into your ...
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Quadratic formula on your calculator