Cinco de Mayo

The fifth of May celebrates Mexico’s independence on May 5, 1862, and is a celebration of Mexican culture..  Today people celebrate this holiday with food, parades, music, dancing and a fiesta!

 

Early Childhood:

Ask your classmates to vote for their favorite Mexican food.  Create a tally chart to show the results! Which food had the most votes?  Which food had the least votes? Write your own question about your class favorites.


Upper Elementary:

Mexican folk art often utilizes geometric shapes, patterns, and symmetry.  Research some examples. Create your own design for a sombrero or a sarape in the Mexican style, using two-dimensional shapes, and symmetry.

Middle School:

A piñata, filled with candy before the fiesta, contained 1/2 chocolate candies, 1/4 licorice, and 1/4 fruit-flavored candy.  Once broken, Juan and his friends rushed in to quickly gather the candy. Juan grabbed ¾ of the chocolate candies. What fraction of the total candies did Juan grab? Use a tape diagram to prove your solution.

Website Resources:


Make Way for Ducklings

Robert McCloskey is from Boston, and wrote the award-winning children's book, Make Way for Ducklings.  When he was an art student in Boston, he lived in an apartment near the Public Garden. One day he could see a line of ducks walking to the park to play from his widow. This inspired him to write his award winning story.

Early Childhood:

In the story Make Way for Ducklings, when the ducks are crossing the road, one of the pictures shows all of the ducklings have crossed the street, except for one. If there are 8 ducklings altogether, and one is left behind, how many ducks crossed the street safely?

Since there are 8 ducks, if they swim in the pond in pairs, how many pairs of ducklings are there? Use a math representation to show how you know.


Upper Elementary:

In the Public Garden, there are bronze statues of the 8 ducklings and mother duck as a tribute to McCloskey. The bronze ducks were placed in the Garden in 1987. How long ago was that? Use a number line diagram to prove your solution.

Mother duck measures 38 inches tall. The ducklings measure 14.5 inches tall. What is the difference in height of the mother duck and her ducklings?

Middle School:

Mother duck is 38 inches tall and her wingspan is 35 inches. What is the ratio of her height to her wingspan? How does this compare to your height and arm span? Measure yourself. What do you notice?

Website Resources:


Spring Is In The Air

Early Childhood

Mother Robin laid some eggs in her nest. When Joey looked in the nest, he saw 2 hatched baby birds and 3 eggs that were not yet hatched. How many eggs did Mother Robin lay?

Show how you know.

Upper Elementary

Mr. Looney decided that he would make a 12-foot by 10-foot vegetable garden. In order to keep out rabbits and other animals, he wants to fence in his garden. His neighbor has an extra 40 feet of fencing that he offered to Mr. Looney. Is this enough fence to go around Mr. Looney’s garden? Show how you know.

Middle School

Jessica’s softball team averaged 10 runs a game this spring. They played a total of 15 games. The number of runs in the first 10 games is shown below. Complete the chart below showing what the number of runs in the final 5 games could have been. Can you complete this in more than one way? Explain how you solved this problem.

baseball math problems

Website Resources:

Middle School

Upper Elementary

Middle School


More about 'Same But Different Math'

When using the same but different routine students are forced to look at the features, the characteristics, the defining qualities of what we are comparing. They notice the overlap of ideas as well unique distinguishing qualities. But specifically saying, “these two things are the same” has a way of lowering cognitive tension and beginning the building of a bridge to understanding. Using this explicit language with students (How are these the same but different?), I see an opportunity for a deep impact on student learning. By using the images on this website, as a routine, we have an activity ready for use in the classroom, but at a more important deeper level, we are teaching a way of thinking: grayscale thinking, categorical thinking; building a network of ideas but also an approach to how we learn and think about all of mathematics.

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