Would You Rather…

Would You Rather...

Have a stack of quarters from the floor to the top of your head OR $225?

Whichever answer you choose, justify your reasoning with mathematics.
Help for teachers:

According to Wikipedia, average height for girls by age:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Female_Stature_vs_Age.svg

According to Wikipedia, average height for boys by age:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Male_Stature_vs_Age.svg

If you want a better conversation, change the $225 to suit your class needs:
http://bit.ly/1jL4qEq

Oh, thickness of a quarter might help:
http://bit.ly/1hKhPNz

Let me know if you use this one and how it goes!

Comments (14)

  1. youcansecantyou

    I love this idea! Used this activity as a quick class starter with my Algebra 2 class today. They immediately asked for the width of a quarter and once they had that info, could quickly find their answer. I might ask them to estimate first and then give them the width if I do it again. Some went a step further and figured out at what height it would be best to take the $225 instead of the quarters. Some who were close to that height decided they would rather sacrifice a couple of dollars instead of having to deal with so many quarters. Overall, some good discussion, even though this activity is probably better suited to junior high level.

    Reply
    1. @jstevens009

      THIS. IS. PERFECT. Thank you for sharing! It’s true that the standard is intended for a junior high level, but you took the question and scaled it up amazingly to meet the needs of your students. Have a great day! What level are your students at? I’ll try to think of something related to concepts that you’re working on.

      Reply
  2. youcansecantyou

    I love this idea! Used this activity as a quick class starter with my Algebra 2 class today. They immediately asked for the width of a quarter and once they had that info, could quickly find their answer. I might ask them to estimate first and then give them the width if I do it again. Some went a step further and figured out at what height it would be best to take the $225 instead of the quarters. Some who were close to that height decided they would rather sacrifice a couple of dollars instead of having to deal with so many quarters. Overall, some good discussion, even though this activity is probably better suited to junior high level.

    Reply
    1. @jstevens009

      THIS. IS. PERFECT. Thank you for sharing! It’s true that the standard is intended for a junior high level, but you took the question and scaled it up amazingly to meet the needs of your students. Have a great day! What level are your students at? I’ll try to think of something related to concepts that you’re working on.

      Reply
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  5. Lee Varty

    I did this activity this morning with my grade 6 and 7 students. At that age, they all took the stack. I had one student tell me he wanted the $225 because he didn’t want that many quarters!

    Reply
  6. Lee Varty

    I did this activity this morning with my grade 6 and 7 students. At that age, they all took the stack. I had one student tell me he wanted the $225 because he didn’t want that many quarters!

    Reply
  7. @jstevens009

    Did you see in there, Lee, that I’ve included a blank template to replace $225 with a more age-appropriate average? Either way, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  8. @jstevens009

    Did you see in there, Lee, that I’ve included a blank template to replace $225 with a more age-appropriate average? Either way, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  9. siliconjim

    UGH! I am SO technically inept! I am trying to edit the dollar amount from the link but I cannot get into the box to edit the number. What am I missing (other than the most rudimentary computer skills)? Can I change the dollar amount to $250?

    Reply
  10. siliconjim

    UGH! I am SO technically inept! I am trying to edit the dollar amount from the link but I cannot get into the box to edit the number. What am I missing (other than the most rudimentary computer skills)? Can I change the dollar amount to $250?

    Reply
  11. Kaci McCoy

    This was an awesome activity. I just happened to have $4 in quarters in my purse, so I passed around stacks of $1 in quarters for students to measure. They discovered that $1 is roughly 1/4″ or 0.75 cm. Because of the rigor of this problem, most of my students needed more time than I usually give for a warm up. This could easily be part of a 3-act lesson regarding conversions or proportions.

    Reply
  12. Kaci McCoy

    This was an awesome activity. I just happened to have $4 in quarters in my purse, so I passed around stacks of $1 in quarters for students to measure. They discovered that $1 is roughly 1/4″ or 0.75 cm. Because of the rigor of this problem, most of my students needed more time than I usually give for a warm up. This could easily be part of a 3-act lesson regarding conversions or proportions.

    Reply

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