Category Archives: Math Minute

#38: Duplicator Lab Riddles

This Math Minute is brought to you by Steve Wyborney.  Steve is an award-winning teacher and instructional coach from Oregon.   Check out his blog at

For this Math Minute, complete the following steps…

Step 1:  Click here to watch the Duplicator Lab Riddle

Step 2:  Answer 1, 2, and/or 3 riddles posed at the end of the video.

Step 3:  Give your answers to the EY Coordinator at your school.

Robot image taken from:

#37: What’s so special about that number?

Why is 2 important?  It’s the only even prime number!
What’s so special about 1323?  It’s an Achilles number!
What about 1975?  Well it’s the year I was born! 😉

For this Math Minute post, explore:

and find out why different numbers are special.  If you’re like me, you’ll only understand a few of them.  For the ones you don’t understand, click on the link or do a Google search.  Many of the links on the site take you to Wolfram Alpha which is a great resource, but I sometimes like to watch videos to explain things.  For example, the link for the number 5 takes you to a page where you can read about the Platonic Solids, but when I searched it on Google, I found this video ( which explained things a little further.

What special number(s) did you discover?  Post a comment below.

#36: Minimum Wage

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image taken from

My boys and I recently had a conversation about minimum wage and it got me thinking about my first job.  It was the late 1980’s and I was 13 years old.  I worked at Bishop’s Buffet rolling silverware in napkins and I made a whopping $2.15 an hour!

Here are some ways to spend some Math Minutes…
  1. Ask a parent, grandparent, or other adult what their first job was and how much they made per hour.  Post a comment using your first name only, grade, and school (i.e. Trevor, 6, Sunset)
  2. Look at this site and make a table of Nebraska’s minimum wage from 1968 to present.  BONUS:  Turn your data into a graph.
  3. Using the same site in #2, compare the minimum wage for 2-3 states.  Use this online graphing tool or another graphing tool of your choice.
  4. Read about Nebraska’s minimum wage at: What kinds of jobs offer minimum wage?  Is $9.00 an hour sufficient?  Leave your comments below.

#35: The Math Behind the Solar Eclipse


image taken from

Taken from  One of the reasons that ancient peoples could not predict total solar eclipses was because they did not appreciate the mathematics involved in forecasting. Also, many of the parameters needed to accurately predict eclipses had not been astronomically measured until the first century CE. If you are taking a trip to visit Grandma in another town and want to predict at what time you will arrive, it really helps to know how, many road miles you will be traveling and how fast you will go!

Below you will find links to 3 math challenges that will take you through some of the basic mathematics related to the August 21, 2017 eclipse.  Complete the challenges and submit them to the EY Coordinator at your building.  You may also post a comment about something new you learned.

Challenge 1Working with Geographic Coordinates

Challenge 2X Marks the Spot

Challenge 8Exploring Angular Diameter


#34 Math Minute: Pizza Math


Where is your favorite place to eat pizza?  My Top 3 are Sortinos, Mama’s Pizza, and Papa Johns.  Of course whenever we eat pizza as a family, we have to make up some math problems!  Explore some “pizza math” by completing the activities below. 

How can you spend your Math Minutes?

  1. Calculate the area, circumference, and price per square inch of the next pizza you order.  Make a display of the math/calculations.  Compare it to a pizza from another location.
  2. Watch the videos at: and and post a comment about something new you learned.
  3. Play Tony Fraction’s Pizza Shop at:
  4. Read about how to cut a better slice of pizza with math at: and post a comment about something new you learned.
  5. Play Pizza Fractions at:
Have a yummy time exploring pizza math!

#33 Math Minute: March Madness


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How does your NCAA bracket look?  Did you have a strategy for picking your teams?  As we approach the championship game on April 3, let’s take a look at some…

“Math Behind March Madness!”

How can you spend your Math Minutes?

Below you will find and activity and some articles about the math behind March Madness.  Complete the activity and/or read an article.  Post a comment about something new you learned or how your bracket ended up.

#32 Math Minute: Narcissistic Numbers

According to Wikipedia, a narcissistic number is…

In recreational number theory, a narcissistic number (also known as a pluperfect digital invariant (PPDI), an Armstrong number (after Michael F. Armstrong) or a plus perfect number) is a number that is the sum of its own digits each raised to the power of the number of digits.2000px-Confused.svgHUH?!

image source Wikimedia Commons

Narcissistic Numbers aren’t actually that confusing if you know how to do a couple things.  Here’s how you can spend your Math Minutes so that you can learn more about these peculiar numbers!

  • Watch this video by Numberphile:
  • Look at the list of Narcissistic Numbers on Wolfram Alpha:
  • Pick a Narcissistic Number to “work out” on paper to prove it works.  See example below.



#31 Math Minute: Super Bowl Math


image source:

Super Bowl LI happened on Sunday, February 5.  Whether you’re a football fan or not, it’s interesting to look at the event’s history.  This Math Minute post has you predicting, collecting, and displaying some data related to the Super Bowl.

How can you spend your Math Minutes?

  • Make some predictions.  Without looking online for the answers, predict how much a 30 second ad cost to run during the Super Bowl in the following years:  1967, 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007, 2017.  Record these predictions on a sheet of paper.  Next to your predictions, use this site to record the actual cost for those years.
  • Create a pictograph.  Pick 5 NFL teams and write those on the x-axis of your graph.  Using this site, record how many Super Bowls each team played in.  Use a helmet, a football, or some other picture to display the data.  Make sure to include a key for your graph (i.e. 1 football = 1 Super Bowl).  Give your completed graph to the EY coordinator at your building and we may showcase it on the EY blog!
  • Create a scatter plot of the data on this site.  Use the x-axis to represent the year and the y-axis to represent the cost of a 30 second ad.  There are several tools you can use to make your graph including Numbers (app on the iPad), Create A Graph website, Scatter Plot Tool, and others.  Share your completed graph with the EY Coordinator at your building.
  • Choose any other data related to the Super Bowl to analyze.  Some ideas include ages of players, points scored, salaries of players, etc.  This article talks about the data, analytics, and probabilities associated with the Super Bowl.

Have Fun!

#30 Math Minute: What day of the week is it?

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I found this very complex mathematical formula that allows one to figure out the day of the week any date falls on.  Don’t let the formula intimidate you!  I did this with some 3rd graders today and with a few explanations, they were able to figure it out.  So can you!

Click here for a quick tutorial on how to use the formula

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  • Watch the video linked above
  • Figure out the day of the week you were born on using your birthdate and year.
  • Figure out the day of the week for another date in history (Pearl Harbor, Declaration of Independence, etc.).
  • Check out this Dr. Math Forum post for some more information about calendars and even a different formula to use

Turn in all LEGIBLE work to the EY coordinator at your building for a small prize!

#29 Math Minute: Fractals


Image Source: By AnonMoos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

According for, A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos.
How can you spend your Math Minutes?
  • Choose a “Fractivity” to complete from this webpage
  • Draw Sierpinski’s Triangle by watching this tutorial 
  • Color and cut out a Sierpinski Triangle using this template and give it to the EY coordinator at your building.  We will build a GIANT triangle using all the ones submitted!
  • Check out the connection between Sierpinski’s Triangle and Pascal’s Triangle by watching this video.
  • Watch this video about Fractals and leave a comment about something new you learned