Category Archives: Math Minute

#76 Bedtime Math

Each day you can find a NEW math post at Bedtime Math to stretch your math thinking.

Check out this post about the world record cat, Sophie!


September 4, 2020

Sure, most cats are soft and furry. But this one has gone bonkers. Sophie holds the world record for the longest cat fur. Measuring more than 10 inches long, Sophie’s fur might be longer than your own hair. Judging from the look on her face, we’re not sure she likes having all that fur…and you can’t blame her. Her owners have to brush her out 2-3 times every week to keep it neat. But now that she holds the Guinness World Record for furriest cat, maybe it’s worth it.

Your Turn

1. Create a pic collage with the topic from this and some of the facts from the article. Do a bit of research to add a few more bits of information related to the topic.

2. Choose a math question to answer from the list below depending on your age.

3. Add question and the the answer to your pic collage.

4. If you want to do more of these challenges, add the Bedtime Math site to your homescreen on your ipad.

Little kids: The previous record holder, Colonel Meow, had fur 1 inch shorter than Sophie’s. How long was Colonel Meow’s fur?  Bonus: They say eating salmon (a type of fish) makes your hair soft and healthy. If Sophie eats salmon twice a day, how many times does she eat it in a week?

Big kids: If Sophie’s fur grows 1 inch every 2 months starting now, could it be 14 inches long by next May? (We’re starting September now.)  Bonus: If Sophie needs 2 more brushings this week (Wednesday through Saturday) on any 2 days, how many different pairs of days could she be brushed?

By Laura Overdeck

#75 Make Anything into Math

You know, you can think of almost anything as a math problem!

Check out this video
~Ms. Fibonacci from Math Curse

While you’re out and about over the weekend, take a snapshot of anything that reminds you of a math concept/problem.  Create a pic collage or another visual of your choice with your picture and a math problem goes along it. Create an answer key as well. Send a your problem and key to the EY teacher at your school.

#74 Fibonacci Fun


The Fibonacci Sequence

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…

The Fibonacci Sequence is a simple sequence of numbers that anyone can learn!  This Math Minute has you exploring some Fibonacci Fun.

How can I spend my math minutes?
  • The list above includes the first 10 terms of Fibonacci’s Sequence.  Write out the next 10, 20 (or more) terms by adding the 2 previous numbers (i.e. the next Fibonacci number is 34 + 55 which is 89).  Yes, I’m aware you can just find a website that lists out the Fibonacci numbers so all you have to do is copy them down, but instead of copying them down, practice your basic math skills and DO the math yourself!
  • “Too much of the mathematics we learn in school is not effectively motivated.” ~Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin Watch his TED Video about the Magic of Fibonacci Numbers at
  • Watch this Numberphile video about Random Fibonacci Numbers.  Then, try the activity he explains in the video using a coin.  My sons Toby and Trevor and I recorded ourselves doing the activity here:
  • Read about the Fibonacci Sequence at Math is Fun and leave a comment about something new you learned.

Image of Golden Spiral: “Fibonacci” by Sam Felder is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

#73 Codes

01000011 01101111 01100100 01100101 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101111 01101100 00100001

in English, Codes are Cool!

Do you have your own secret code that you use with your friends?  Do you like writing notes to people?  Do you like to write in a diary?  Do you like solving puzzles and finding patterns?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to check out this Math Minute!

  1. Go to and type in a sentence in English.  Then tap the convert button to translate your message to binary.
  2. Learn about the Pigpen cipher (also known as masonic cipher, Freemason’s cipher, Napoleon cipher, and tic-tac-toe cipher) by watching this video: Then, write a message using what you learned.
  3. Watch this video about the Enigma Machine at Numberphile: Post a comment about something new you learned.
  4. Learn about the Caesar Cipher by watching this video: Then create a message for someone else to figure out.  Be sure to include the shift number!
  5. Find out how a code was used to catch someone red-handed!

#72: Palindromes

Guess what!  The 2019-2020 school year contains 21 VERY SPECIAL days!  Ten of those dates are listed in the picture above.  Can you figure out the additional 11 days that will occur in 2020?

How can you spend your Math Minutes?

#71: 2020 Olympic Medals

80,000 tons of mobile phones and small electronic devices around Japan, which will be used in the crafting of every gold, silver and bronze Olympic and Paralympic medal awarded to athletes at the 2020 Olympic Games.
How can you spend your Math Minutes?

Image Source:

#70 Algebra in Pictures

Images to create this puzzle taken from

One of the things I struggled with when taking Algebra was the use of letters (variables) to represent numbers.  However, if we remove the letters and replace them with pictures, somehow Algebra becomes a little more manageable.

How can I spend my Math Minutes?

  1. Figure out the picture puzzle above stating what the ? represents in the final “equation”.  On a piece of paper, put your answer along with your first and last name, grade, school, and classroom teacher.  Give it to your EY Coordinator (or tell your classroom teacher to “pony” it to EY at Sunset Hills).
  2. Create your own picture puzzle.  I used Keynote, but you could use Explain Everything, Pic Collage, or another iPad app.  Pictures for your puzzle can be found at These puzzles can be emailed to Dr. Spady (ask your EY Coordinator or classroom teacher for the correct email).
  3. Figure out the 11 puzzles pictured below.  On a piece of paper, put your answers along with your first and last name, grade, school, and classroom teacher.  Give it to your EY Coordinator (or tell your classroom teacher to “pony” it to EY at Sunset Hills).

Thank you Mrs. Bridwell for the inspiration to create this post!  Thank you to Mrs. Bridwell’s 6th graders for all the great puzzles below!

#69: Snowiest February

Who knew SNOWIEST was even a word?!

Was February 2019 the SNOWIEST of all time?

How can I spend my Math Minutes?
  1. Create 1, 2, or 3 different graphs to display the data above.  For a clearer image of the data, click here.   Use the Create-A-Graph website to make a graph of the data.  Be sure to include a title and label your axes.
    • Top 5 Snowiest Februarys
    • The Top 5 Snowiest Winter Seasons (Dec-Jan-Feb)
    • Top 5 Snowiest Winters (Jul 1- Jun 20).
  2. Take a look at the graphs in the image below.  For a clearer image of the graphs, click here.  The information in the blue box is particularly helpful in reading the graphs.  Answer any of the following questions by leaving a comment and/or leave a question for someone else to answer.
    • How many times in January/February 2019 did the temperature range fall mainly in the record highs?  What about the record lows?
    • On how many dates was the temperature range very small (short blue bar)?
    • How many times did the temperature range fall in the average section (green)?
    • What do you find interesting about these graphs?




#68 The Math Behind Pringles

This Math Minute was inspired by the Pringles commercial that played during Super Bowl LIII.

Thanks to Ava and Karin too for your help!

I’ve always been intrigued by the shape of Pringles, but this commercial took it to the next level and had me pondering the mathematics behind this beloved chip!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  1. Read about the Geometry of Pringles by visiting this website: Post a comment about something new you learned.  Make sure to include your first name only, grade, and school (i.e. Ava, 6, Loveland).
  2. Watch this video on stacking Pringles in a complete circle.  If you try it yourself, make sure to record it! 🙂  Check out Cooper and Jack’s attempt!
  3. A Pringles can is a cylinder that is 30 cm tall.  The circles at each end of the can have a radius of 4 cm.  Find the surface area and volume of the can.  Click here for help with the formulas.  Turn in your work to the EY Coordinator at your building.
  4. Create a package that will hold a single Pringle.  Send it to yourself (or a friend) in the mail and see if your package kept it protected during its journey (didn’t cause it to break).
  5. Check out this interactive Pringle stacking website! Leave a comment with the combination you think would taste the best!

The #spadyboys had a friendly Pringle Stacking Competition/Taste Test the other night.  Check out the video!

#67 Rose Bowl Parade

parade | pəˈrād | noun

a public procession, especially one celebrating a special day or event and including marching bands and floats.

Who doesn’t love a good parade?  People throwing out candy from elaborately decorated floats, listening to marching bands while baton twirlers dance by, watching the line of fancy cars drive by with kings and queens waiving…the list goes on!  Have you ever participated in a parade?  What is something you remember?  When I was in 4th grade, I dressed up as one of the orphans from Annie and walked in my hometown parade.  My little sister was Annie and my older sister was Miss Hannigan.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is watching the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day.  This year marked the 130th parade in Pasadena, California.

How can you spend your Math Minutes?

  • Read about the Parade here: and post a “number fact” about the parade.  For example:  45.5 Million people watch the parade on television and 700,000 (estimated) watch it live. Source Feel free to post as many facts as you like.
  • Create a Infographic about some of the data you found out about the parade.  Check out Violet’s example.
  • Read about the Design and Manufacturing process for floats.  Leave a comment with something new you learned and/or your idea for a float.


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