Story Problem – A Trip to the Bakery

This set of story problems resists easy answers, but can be cracked if students build models or draw pictures of the situation. For students who finish early, have them create their own “Trip to the Bakery” story problem.


Story Problem – The Monster

For this long-form story problem, read the story to your class first, then give them the questions to answer, and the story as a reference. Optional artistic tie-in: draw a picture of the monster. Optional challenge: write another question about the story.

Pyramid Puzzles

Pyramid puzzles are a fun and deceptively tricky puzzle. Sometimes these can’t be done without some risk taking—encourage guessing and checking, and learning from the inevitable mistakes, especially on the harder puzzles. More on Pyramid Puzzles here.


Rectangles with Whole Area and Fractional Sides

Math concepts: Fraction/decimal multiplication, area model of multiplication Materials: Paper and pencil Tags: 5.NBT.B.7, 5.NF.4, 5.NF.6, I love the question at the heart of this lesson—it’s simple but counter intuitive. This is a perfect way to let kids look for something without The Launch Consider a rectangle. If the side lengths are whole numbers, then so is the area. Do …

What’s the biggest rectangle?

Math concepts: Area, perimeter, number patterns Materials: Graph paper, pencil Tags: 3.MD.7.a-b, 4.OA2, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.OA.5, 5.OA.3, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP5, MP6, MP7. Of all the rectangles with a given perimeter, which one has the largest area? This simple question launches a fascinating exploration. The Launch Remind students of the definition of area and perimeter. Then pose the following question: …

Volume Menu

Topics: Volume, surface area, multiplication, number patterns, estimation, unit conversion Materials: Menu worksheets, cubes, perspective paper (optional), rulers, pencil andpaper Common Core: 5. NBT.5, 5.MD.1, 5.MD.3, 5.MD.4, 5.MD.5.a-c, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP5, MP6, MP7, MP8 Using a Menu The idea of using a “menu” to teach math is simple: with minimal time spent on introduction, you make available a wide array of …


Math for Love Math Circle Lessons

This is a collection of some of the games and activities that are ideal for running before and after school math circles. This particular book is designed for grades 2-3, though most of the activities would work for older or younger students. The math circles are about enrichment. Our goal is that students will leave them loving math more, and …

The Calendar Problem

Topics: Multiplication, addition, Materials: Calendar, Hundreds chart, pencil and paper, calculator (optional) Common Core: 4.OA.1, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.5, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8 How can you add up these numbers so quickly? Why we love this lesson Simple to launch, instantly engaging and accessible, this puzzle is a beautiful demonstration of the usefulness of multiplication. Not only that, figuring …