Math Lessons

1. The day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” in the shopping world. While the origin of the term is not clear, it may be a reference to financial profits and losses. Businesses often record negative amounts in red ink and positive amounts in black ink. Put simply, when businesses were profitable, they were “in the black.” It may be that “Black Friday” became known that because so many stores made money on that day because there were so many shoppers. These days, “Black Friday” has become synonymous with good sales, designed to attract lots of shoppers. Those deals are frequently advertised in the newspaper. Challenge students to “go shopping” in today’s newspaper, seeking the best way to spend $1,000. Students can read or hear an article read aloud about Black Friday at this link.

Common Core Standard: Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and

algebraic expressions and equations.

2. For a more specific shopping lesson, try this. Have students choose one advertised item that they’d like to buy. For example, they might want an HD or Smart TV. They should find all of those ads in today’s newspaper and make a chart showing the stores and the prices for that item. After reviewing their chart, which store offers the best deal on that television?

Common Core Standard: Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.

3. Anders Celsius was born on Nov. 27, 1701. He was an astronomer, who, among other things, developed a temperature scale, also known as centigrade. In the U.S. the Fahrenheit scale is used but it’s good for students to be able to convert between both scales. Have students choose a list of five temperatures from the weather page. Those will be represented in the Fahrenheit scale. To convert to Celsius, have them add 40 to the number. Then they should multiply the new number by .55555 and then subtract 40.

Common Core Standard: convert within a given measurement system

For example, to convert 32° Fahrenheit to Celsius, add 40 to 32. That’s 72. Multiply 72 by .55555. That equals 39.9996. Round to the nearest whole number, 40. Then subtract 40. 40 – 40 = 0. 32° Fahrenheit = 0°C.

Write the steps to conversion on the board.

4. Challenge students to determine which sport has the most coverage in today’s newspaper. They can divide into small groups with each group taking a page of the Sports section. They will need to compute the area devoted to each sport. They can make a graph to show the results and write three observations about the graph.

Common Core Standard: represent mathematical problems by graphing