
Activity 
Description 
Topics 
Software 

1


13
*
7 = 28 
Watch Abbott and Costello do some
mathematical hocuspocus with multiplying 13 x 7
and getting an answer of 28. Explain how Costello
cheated with place value to get an answer of 28. 
Numerical operations 
Video
(You
Tube) 
2


Algebra
Balance
Beam 
Solve simple equations using a
balance beam representation. (updated)

Algebra 
Applet Mattimath

3


Balance
Beam
Activity 
Use basic equation principles with
this virtual balance to find the weights of
various figures. You are presented with a number
of shapes and one of their weights is known. Your
goal is to find the weights of the other objects
by finding the relationships between the objects
of various weights. This is achieved with a
simulation of a balance beam to tell you how the
weights relate. 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
Applet

4


Billiard
paths 
Here you will find an unusual
billiard table. The dimensions are determined by
the numbers on the sliders. Your Challenge: See if
you can come up with a way to predict (1) what the
number of touches will be for any given size
billiard table and (2) which corner the ball will
end up in. 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 
Applet,
MW*

5


Birthday
problem 
What is the probability that in a
room of 23 people that 2 people share the same
birthday? Use the applet to determine the
probability experimentally. 
Probability 
Applet

7


Black
Box 
Guess my (2step) rule. The black
box method uses an imaginary device (the black
box) that modifies the input number according to a
specific formula. The formula is hidden in the
black box so to a viewer the number mysteriously
changes. 
Algebra 
FlashLink:
Black Box Method 
8


Boutique

Making Change 
At the Boutique shop the student
plays the role of a store clerk who sells clothes.
The main task is to handle the exchange of money
and give correct change. In this example, the
student is given $5.00 for an item that costs
$4.22. The right change is 78¢. What are the
different ways you could make the necessary
change? 
Numerical operations, Problem
Solving 
SS

9


Broken
Calculator 
In this game you have to get as
close as possible to a given number, by using the
still working buttons of a broken calculator.
Challenge: make your computation come out to 25 if
the 5 key is disabled. 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 
Applet,
MW*

10


Buffon’s
needle
1.19.13

The challenge in this activity is
to see if the students can make a prediction about
the likelihood of toothpicks landing on lines when
dropped randomly using experimental and
theoretical data. 
Probability 
Flash,
Video:
Teachers.TV

11


Burgerama

Lesson Plan: What’s my Order? This
lesson uses an applet to get after how (1)
fractions are related to a unit whole (2) to use a
model to compare fractional parts of a whole and
(3) to order fractions. 
Numerical operations 
Applet

12


Bus
Problem 
You are about to go on a field
trip with the entire school. Everyone will
be traveling by school bus. If each bus can seat a
maximum of 30 people, how many buses will you need
to transport everyone? 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 
None 
13


Candy
investigation/
Candy Circle graphs 
How many M & M's are there in
this mystery bag? The challenge is to come up with
an educated guess based on data analysis. 
Data Analysis 
SS 
14


Climate
in
NJ 
What's the temperature usually
like in September? 
Data Analysis 
Website

15


Coin
Flipper 
Use this applet to answer some
questions about probability of tossing coins a lot
of times! (MW only!) 
Probability 
MW 
16



Cost
of
mailing a letter 
How much does it cost to mail a
letter given the weight? Use Excel to graph and
answer the question. 
Data Analysis 
SS

17



Crickets,
Chirps
& Temperature: Is there a relationship? 
Could you use crickets as a
temperature thermometer? In this lesson, you will
learn ways to find relationships between two
variables (like pitch and temperature) so that for
a certain pitch of a cricket chirp you can
approximate the temperature. 
Algebra 
SS 
18



Darts
–
decimal 
Similar to Fraction Darts. Except
here you need to enter your dart throws in decimal
form. 
Numerical operations 
Flash 
19



Darts
–
fraction 
" The object of the Fraction Darts
challenge is to ""pop"" balloons located on a
number line between 0 and 1. The Darts are
"thrown" by entering a number in fractional form.
Here is a glimpse of a game in progress. Two darts
(5/8 and 3/4) have been thrown so far. Notice that
3/4 is too big and 5/8 is too small." 
Numerical operations, Problem
Solving 
Flash 
20



Diagonals
of
Polygons 
The pentagon has 4 diagonals. How
many diagonals does a 13gon have? Can you find a
rule that will help you to answer the question
without drawing the figure? 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
GSP 
21



Dog
Years 
Hey Big Guy, Count your blessings!
If you were a dog, you’d be over 100 years old.
How old is the birthday person? Use the applet to
figure out the answer. 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
applet 
22



Estimating
Heights 
In a letter professor Sanders asks
your class: Is there a way to predict the height
of a person by just knowing the length of the
radius bone? Your students will need to do some
measurements to find out. 
Data Analysis 



23



Exterior
Angles
of triangle 
Can you figure out a method to
determine the measure of the exterior angle of the
triangle in each sketch without using a measuring
device or Sketchpad’s tools? Study your results
carefully. Next determine angle BCD in the figures
above without using any measuring device like a
protractor. Explain (1) what you did and (2) why
it works. 
Geometry 
GSP






Factor
Game

Two players compete for high score
by picking numbers from a board (screen) which are
then added to their score. There is a catch
though. Whenever Player A picks a number, the
total of every factor of that number still showing
on the screen is added to the opponent's score.
When the opponent, Player B, chooses a number,
that number is added to his/her score, but Player
A gets the total of all remaining factors of the
number B chose. Game continues until all numbers
have been picked. High score wins. 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 
MW*




Factor
Game
(NCTM Version) 
Similar to Microworld version of
the Factor game except its more challenging in
some respects.

Number Sense, Numerical operations 
Applet






Factor
Tree 
This manipulative allows you to
construct factor trees (to the prime factors) for
two numbers, and then from the prime
factorization, you are asked to identify the Least
Common Multiple (LCM) and the Greatest Common
Factor (GCF) of the two given numbers. 
Numerical operations 
Applet






Fair
Game?
One die 
Play with a partner. Take turns
rolling a die. Roll 30 times. Player 1 scores a
point if the roll is even. Player 2 scores a point
if the roll is odd. 
Probability 
MW






Fair
Game?
One Die Race 
In this activity you use a
Microworlds applet to roll one die many times. The
object is to see if you can predict which event
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6) will come up most often and
win the race. 
Probability 
MW






Fair
Game?
Special Sums 
Players take turns rolling 2
number cubes. Player A gets a point if the sum is
1, 2, 3, or 4. Player B gets a point if the sum is
5, 6, 7, or 8. Player C scores a point if he gets
9, 10, 11, or 12. Is this a fair game? Play 15
rounds and find out. 
Probability 
MW 





Fair
Game
Dilemma: Odd or Even? 
Two players roll 2 cubes. Player 1
wins if sum of cubes is even, player 2 wins if the
sum is odd. Is this a fair game? 
Probability 
MW






Far
Fetched
Areas Glitch Problem 
In order to find out the area we
need to make a drawing of our tiles and then use a
program called the Geometer’s Sketchpad to tell us
how many square centimeters there are in our
tiles. 
Geometry 
GSP
Applet 





Fat
Cat
Activity 
" Is the heaviest cat always the
fattest cat? Why or Why not? Compare Blob with
""Lean and Mean"". Which one is the fatter cat?
Why?" 
Data Analysis 
SS






Fraction
Track
Game 
By working on this activity,
students have opportunities to think about how
fractions are related to a unit whole, compare
fractional parts of a whole, and find equivalent
fractions. 
Numerical operations 
Applet






Game
of Number Guess – Decimal version 
The assumption of this number
guess game is that the mystery number will be a
whole number. But what if 4 is too big and 3 is
too small? What would be your next guess? 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 
MW






GEPA
prep with Sketchpad 
A set of 5 problems with
accompanying Sketchpad files that are interesting
ways to prepare for standardized tests like ASK 8
in New Jersey. 

GSP
file






Get
to
Know Sketchpad – Triangles 
Using Sketchpad students make a
chart of examples of triangles that can be
described both by their angles and sides. Are
there any that are impossible? 
Geometry 
GSP 





Getting
to Know Sketchpad  Triangles & Spinwheels 
See description of Spinwheels I
and II. 
Geometry 
GSP 





Glob
Hunt:
Coordinate Graphs 
Students practice their
coordinating graphing skills while they track down
the location of a green glob. Happy hunting. 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
MW






Golden
Ratio 
The ratio, called the Golden
Ratio, is the ratio of the length to the width of
what is said to be one of the most aesthetically
pleasing rectangular shapes 
Geometry 






Green
Globs
Contest 
"Students combine computer game
fun and serious mathematics in a faceoff of the
""Green Globs Challenge."" After learning about
coordinate graphs and equations in math class,
students put their knowledge to work by playing
the ""Green Globs"" computer game using classroom
computers and laptops. Highest score wins." 
Algebra 
Graphing Equations and Green
Globs$$$ 





How
Far
was your Trip? 
Today we are going to find out who
traveled the average distance to get to this
workshop. First we'll start off with a guess. What
do you think is the average distance that the
members of this group traveled today? 
Data Analysis 
Web tools 





How
High? 
In this activity you will learn
something about how to determine the volume (how
much liquid) there is in the rectangular Tank. 
Geometry 
Applet






Hundred
Board 
NCTM version. Very clever way to
do times tables! 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 






Integer
Addition
using Color Chips 
This MattiMath virtual
manipulative activity uses plus and minus chips to
demonstrate adding positive and negative numbers. 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
Applet 





Investigate
reflections 
A Geometer's Sketchpad exploration
activity. 
Geometry 
GSP 





Jinx
Puzzle
1 
Repeat this puzzle with a variety
of rational numbers (both positive and negative.)
What do you discover? Do you think this puzzle
always works? (Spreadsheet version.) 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
SS






Jinx
Puzzle
2 
Repeat this puzzle with a variety
of rational numbers (both positive and negative.)
What do you discover? Do you think this puzzle
always works? (TI calculator version.) 
Algebra, Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
TI Calc 





Job
Offer 
YOU GOT THE JOB! You have a choice
of 2 payment plans. Study carefully both plans
before deciding. 
Algebra, Geometry 
SS 





King
Arthur’s
Dilemma 
" During one of the meetings of
the Knights of the Round Table, one of the Knights
asked for the hand of King Arthur's daughter in
marriage. Much to the dismay of the King an outcry
came from the other Knights. Each of the Knights
asked to be the spouse of the King's daughter.
Perplexed by the outcry, the King devised the
following scheme to choose the one to marry his
daughter..."

Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
MW 





Mac
Currency
Problem: 
How much would you pay for a Big
Mac in some other countries? 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
Web
tools 





Mind
Reader 
Solve a math problem and watch the
computer guess your secret symbol. How does the
computer know it? It uses Algebra. See if you can
figure out how! 
Algebra 
Flash 





Morris
the
Cat Expands 
What happens to Morris when you
double his coordinates? Half his coordinates? Make
a prediction about how Morris will stretch or
shrink if you know the stretch or shrink factor. 
Geometry 
GSP 





Name
the
Shapemakers 
"Discover what other shapes these
""disguised"" squares make. " 
Geometry 
GSP 





Number
Town: Family Fractions 
"It's time for all 25 fractions in
Number Town to return to their “home” color pad.
Your task is to move each of them to their
respective pads. You are successful if clicking on
the fraction (1) switches its form from fraction
to picture ID (or visa versa) and not cause the
fraction to ""run away"" from the pad." 
Numerical operations 
MW






Olympics
Activity 
Are we faster, stronger, better
than we used to be? 
Data Analysis 
SS 





Pattern
Blocks
for Sale 
How much should we charge for the
design if the square costs $1.00? 
Geometry 
GSP






Pick’s
Rule
(Theorem, Law) 

Geometry 
GSP 





Pizza
Time! 
It's lunch time and your friends
are hungry. So you decide to share an extra large
pizza. But after looking at the menu above, you
start to think that maybe you can get more for
your money if you order three medium pies instead
for the same price. So what is it? One extra large
pie, three medium pies, or do you think it doesn't
matter because you are going to get the same
amount of pizza either way? Please explain your
reasoning. 
Geometry, Problem Solving 
GSP 





Power of 2 
Paper folding problem: How many
times would you need to fold a piece of paper
(assuming its possible so that the number of
sheets would pile high enough to reach the moon? 
Number Sense, Patterns (Pre
Algebra) 
SS






Ptomaine
Fish
Co. Decisions 
Groups of students will choose the
most economic fish delivery plan from 3 company’s
proposals. They use a spreadsheets to come up with
their recommendation to the CEO of the Ptomaine
Fish Co. 
Patterns (Pre Algebra) 
SS






Rectangle:
Area
& Perimeter 
Question: What is the largest the
area of a rectangle be if its perimeter is 20? 
Geometry 
Applet






Repeating
and
terminating Decimals 
Can every fraction be written as a
decimal? This spreadsheet activity will help you
to find out. 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 
SS






Road
Sign 
What’s wrong with the sign? 
Number Sense, Numerical operations 
None 





Shoe
size vs. Height 
Do taller people have larger feet?
In this activity you will use a spreadsheet and
the length of your feet and height to help you
find out. 
Data Analysis 
SS 





Shopping
Spree
(Best buy) 
You’re giving a party and have to
go shopping for snacks. You’ve heard about online
shopping services and want to give them a try.
Because you have a limited amount of money, you
want to get the best buys that you can, so you’re
going to comparison shop and buy the items where
you get the most for your money. 
Numerical operations, Problem
Solving 
SS 





Spinwheels
1 
Stepbystep instructions for you
and your students to create an animated pinwheel
with Geometer's Sketchpad. 
Geometry 
GSP 





Spinwheels
II 
Version 3 of spinwheel with hole. 
Geometry 
GSP 





Spiros 
Whumpus, Whimsy or Gloop? Which
Creature is it? 
Data Analysis 
MW






Temperature

USA 
Look at a USA Today Weather page.
It shows a map of the United States color coded
according to temperature. Based on the temperature
bands you see, what kinds of conclusions can you
make about temperature patterns on this map? 
Data Analysis 
Web






Tessellations:
Semi
regular 
This activity asks the student to
make a semiregular tessellation. There are 8 such
tessellations. Students use Sketchpad shapes above
to make all the tessellations and then explain why
they tessellate. 
Geometry 
Applet






The
letter R Expands, Contracts and goes Negative! 
Enlargement activity on a
coordinate axis. 
Geometry 
GSP






Tri
or
Not to Tri 
2 GSP downloads 
Geometry 
GSP






Types
of
Triangles 
This activity deals with scalene,
isosceles, equilateral, and right triangles.
Students use a GSP sketch or an interactive web
page to drag and manipulate four triangles, one of
each type, and use the activity handout(s) to
guide their exploration. 
Geometry 
Applet 





West
Challenge 
Play the West game. (You will find
it on your computer.) Also play the West Round
Trip game which also takes you backwards from
Great Gulch to the start. In the process you will
learn about negative numbers! 
Numerical operations, Problem
Solving 
Software: How the West Was One


Updated: 2.4.09
