What is the Problem of the Week?

The math problem of the week is a deeper, critical thinking question posed to the students at the beginning of each week. Of course, some problems take less than one week, and some take more. Students are presented with a difficult scenario that does not have an immediate answer. Through discussion with each other and guiding questions from the teacher, students develop ways to solve the problems. Sometimes, there is no clear answer, or an estimate is sufficient. Sometimes, students are given information in the problem; other times, we develop information in the problem through online research (for example, the cost of a gallon of paint). The problem of the week is sometimes used to introduce a math concept, and other times is used to reinforce a math concept already learned. Some of the math problems were taken from Robert Kaplinsky's website. Dan Dreyer also has an excellent TED talk about math instruction. The PowerPoint presentations are left intentionally vague to allow the students to develop their own problem-solving strategies. As students require more information, more information is provided. If you have any great ideas for math problems of the week, please email me!

List of Problems

Title Math topics
Do we have enough paint? Area, estimation
How could you feed 101 Dalmatians? Estimation, addition, multiplication
How many movies could you see in one day? Time
How could you win the grand prize at Skee-Ball? Addition, logic
What brand of paper towels is best? Rates
How much money were those pennies? Estimation, multiplication, area
How could you best plan a day at Disney? Time, estimation
How could you win the balloon-popping game? Addition, problem-solving
What is the area of the multipurpose room? Area, estimation
How many combinations are there on a Coke Freestyle machine? Estimation, combinations, addition