Students can use the man or the basket as a reference as they try to approximate the size of these gifts and how much wrapping paper will actually be needed. Approximation, surface area, reasoning explanation, and diagraming! An X-box is…

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. He must have taken a long time to build. Let…

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 wonder? Which city has the best teams? How do you…

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, they proposed the theory independently of each other. In 2012,…

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 mathematics teaching was reoriented. Parents of elementary school aged children…

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 scales, draw conclusions about the nature of fighting fire here,…

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

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 get a feel for this adventurous career as they calculate…

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 England appear mysteriously overnight. They are often huge but appear…

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 greenhouse gas production from cars, cows, and people. We’ve got…

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 to change the amounts in a blueberry muffin recipe to…

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 cars or the people to approximate the ladder’s length.

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 York City Health Department banned sodas and sweetened drinks larger…

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, lay eggs, and die. Why does the 17 year interval…

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 event has had higher viewership.