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 the car rock back on its rear bumper? How much…

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 many drinks does Starbucks sell in a year? If I…

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 answer this question? What assumptions must you make to solve…

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

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 goldfish swims diagonally across the tank to the back top…

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 with a visual representation of the Pythagorean theorem in order…

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. After approximating the branch’s length, they calculate how many logs…

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 to your class. ACT ONE: I decided to download a…

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. CCSS: HSN.CN.B

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

Gumball Machine Problem from Brian Marks on Vimeo. 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 a solution…

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 amount of coffee that this record-sized mug holds. Students also…

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 Mr. Mark’s baby’s talent. CCSS: 8.F.5, HSA.CED.2, HSA.REI, HSG.MG.3 Parabolic-pee.pdf…

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 current world population. When will we hit 8 billion people? …

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 of permutations of symbols that are possible with these 2-d…