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…
What can you tell about a snowflake?
As a snowflake falls from the sky, its crystal grows according to the humidity and temperatures of the air that it passes through. In this activity, students interpret a graphic that clarifies that growth and try to deduce what conditions…
Wrapping presents on the diagonal
In this activity students determine if this method for minimizing wrapping paper is actually more efficient then the traditional method. For a hands on learning experiment, have students actually wrap a small rectangular prism using any available paper in both the traditional and diagonal methods. Then let them compare the two quantities of wrapping paper and decide which method uses less paper and by what percent.
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. Skip the cone and the sphere to make this activity…
How much snow is that?
Start 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? How much could that snow weigh? Students try to approximate the…
Updated for 2021! 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. Is latitude the central angle of the Earth? The activity: winter-solstice2021.pdf
December 21, 2020 – Great conjunction
Right now, just after sunset, in the southwest sky, you can check out the planets of Jupiter and Saturn as they get closer and closer to each other. They are millions of miles apart but they appear to be very…
Just before Thanksgiving there are competitions all over the world to celebrate cool design, tricky engineering, and to donate a whole lot of food. How many cans does it take to build this structure? What information do you need to determine this? How did you determine your solution? What else did you notice that is mathematical?
First, students need to find the surface area that the M&Ms cover in order to approximate how many M&Ms she needs to finish her cake.
When Brian tried to make the cake, he mistakenly added too much peanut butter. Now all the of ingredients will need to be increased by some percent to insure that the cake maintains appropriate ingredient ratios?
Can you show that the Pythagorean Theorem works?
Use this activity to help your students work through the meaning of the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagorean theorem experiences are often skill and drill work with contrived right triangle problems. In this activity students work with a visual representation of the…
How big is this hornet really?
Giant hornets have now migrated to North America. In this activity students take the hornet’s measurements in millimeters and try to draw the hornet, life-sized, on centimeter graph paper. They learn a little more about the new beast.
National Donut Day
Two activities to help celebrate National Donut Day
How many donuts is that = huge box of donuts to approximate.
How have donuts changed = torus volume measurements, formula intuition, and algebraic transformation of one formula into a second formula.
I bought toilet paper online
Students use the pictures in this activity to approximate the size of this 16 roll package of bamboo toilet paper. They use comparison ratios with our Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll to calculate the size of one roll and then calculate the size of 16 rolls. Funny activity.
A socially-distanced party
I risked infecting my friends or becoming infected myself by throwing a very small socially-distanced party. I served baked appetizers, disinfectant wipes, and latex gloves. I cooked while wearing clean latex gloves and served the appetizers with a spatula. The…
May 27th launch from the U.S. again
NASA and SpaceX plan to launch humans from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to the International Space Station for the first time since July 11, 2011. This is a more current events activity than mathematical.