Holiday Math Facts and Fun

Here are some fun math problems you may wish to share with your intervention and/or enrichment students this week:

Holiday SalesAccording the National Retail Federation NRF’s consumer spending survey the average adult shopper plans to spend $804 this year, up nearly 5 percent over last year’s actual $767. How much of an increase will that be for every 1000 shoppers?

Last year, Dec. 14 was the busiest mailing day, with 839 million pieces of mail to be processed on that day alone (up from 583 million on a typical day).  What is the percentage increase?

The U.S. Postal Service will deliver 16.6 Billion cards, letters and packages during the holiday season — a task that requires 192,000 vehicles.  How many cards, letters and packages will the average vehicle carry during the holiday season?

According to the National Christmas Tree Association Americans bought 33 million real Christmas trees last year and 15 million fake trees.  Five years earlier, they bought 31 million real trees and 17 million fake trees. What was the percentage increase in real Christmas trees ?  What was the decrease in fake Christmas tree purchases during the same time period?

Haunukkah takes place Dec. 16-24

Christmas takes place on Dec. 25

Kwanzaa takes place Dec. 26-Jan. 1

Add up the total days of celebration.  How many additional non-celebration days are left in December?

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Announcing Explorations Contest – $1000 in Prizes!

Explorations2Announcing the Create Your Own Math Exploration Contest from Ascend Math. Educators submitting ideas for online math explorations for Ascend Math, intensive math intervention program will be eligible to win cash prizes.

“One of the things students like best about Ascend Math is the interactive multi-modal explorations,” said Kevin Briley, CEO of Ascend Education.  “Online virtual manipulatives and interactive problems help students understand and retain math objectives faster.    Often, the more creative the exploration, the more students rave about it.”

Now Ascend Education is giving educators and their students a chance to come up with their own ideas for online explorations for any objective grade 3-Algebra II.  The educator submitting the exploration voted best will receive a $500 cash prize. The second prize winner will receive $250 and the third $100.  Three honorable mentions will receive $50 each.

“The Create Your Own Math Exploration Contest gives math teachers a chance to share their knowledge and creativity in addition to the opportunity to win one of the cash prizes,” said Briley.  “Teachers can see examples of current Explorations in the Demo Center of our website”

Educators interested in submitting should download the official Storyboard Template and Instructions from .  Completed templates can be uploaded online to  Entries will be rated for clarity, pedagogy, student interest and creativity. All entries must be submitted by May 8, 2015. The winners will be notified by email.

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Dr. Brian Scott explains why his teachers and students prefer Ascend Math

Not long ago, Dr. Brian Scott of Avon Intermediate School spoke to a group of educators from across the country at a special luncheon coinciding with the NCTM Regional Conference in Indianapolis.  Dr. Scott explained why Ascend Math has made such a difference with his teachers and students when used for math intervention and enhancement.



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Do the Turkey Math

turkeyHappy Thanksgiving! 

Share these fun math problems with your students.

1. The average American eats 16 pounds of turkey each year.  How much turkey will be eaten this year by the entire town of Turkey, North Carolina (population 292)?

2. Mrs. Pilgrim is planning a big Thanksgiving for her family. She is expecting 12 adults and 24 children. She needs to plan for 1 pound of turkey for each adult and a 1/2 pound of turkey for each child. At the grocery store, turkeys are available in 8 pounds, 12 pounds, or 24 pounds. What should she buy?  (Provide all possibilities)

3. A turkey can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and fly at up to 55 miles per hour. If a turkey runs at top speed for half an hour and flies for another 2 1/2 hours how far will he have travelled?

4. Raising beef takes ten times the resources compared to turkey. A turkey farmer is raising 1200 turkeys this year. If he wanted to switch to cattle how many cows would he be able to raise using the same resources?

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Celebrate American Education Week

American Education WeekThis is American Education Week celebrated in this country since 1921.  We are proud to be among those who support educators every day.  Enjoy this week. You deserve it.

To help you make the most of it here are few ideas.

To kick off the American Education Week let your community know about the great work your students are doing.

Tuesday is Invite Parents to School Day   Let parents try the computer programs that students use.  Parents who have tried out Ascend Math are impressed and better understand the accomplishments of their children.  To make it easy, you can have them work from the student experience examples on our website:


Twenty Five Ideas to Celebrate American Education Week:

Ideas from NEA:



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Gold Medal winner speaks at lunch event during NCTM Richmond

IMG_0604Amy Boyd accepted the 2014 Ascend Math Gold Medal on behalf of Holabird STEM program at a ceremony that took place during the NCTM Regional Conference in Richmond, VA.

Thirty two attendees listened as she described the challenges faced and the strategies she used with the help of Ascend Math to achieve their wonderful results.

For more on the Gold Medal and Holabird STEM Program see



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From the Thought Leaders Summit


Lillian H. posted an update

Love @LearnZillion 3Hs: Headache, Heartache & Humans. @News_O_Matic’s approach: helping solve engagement! #NatEdWeek

Thought Leaders Summit

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We started off the Thought Leader Summit with a star-studded event on the future of Higher Ed, in front of a packed house. Goldie Blumenstyk of the Chronicle of Higher Education moderated the panel, which featured John DeGioai (President of Georgetown University), Chip Paucek (Co-founder and CEO of 2U), Jeffrey Selingo (Author), and Betsy Corcoran (Founder and CEO of EdSurge). Thanks to our partner, 1776, for hosting. You can see 80% of these speakers again at the Thought Leader Summit.

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A great day in our Nation’s capital for National Education Week (a fitting view!)

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National Education Week Thought Leader Summit

National Education Week begins next week. I will be in attendance at the National Education Week Thought Leader Summit in Washington DC.  The Thought Leader Summit is a gathering of the leaders from education, business and government who define and shape trends in public and private education, from Early Childhood through K-12, Higher Ed and Lifelong Learning. This year we hope to find paths to reclaim America’s competitive edge by addressing critical issues impacting education today and in the future. Please look for my blog post next week.


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The Math Behind Famous Halloween Facts!

pumpkin 21. The world’s largest pumpkin weighs 2,032 pounds, that’s more than a ton.  The average weight of a pumpkin is about 12 pounds.  How many average pumpkins equal the weight of the world’s record?

2. Punkin Chunkin is an event in which machines such as catapults are used to hurl pumpkins the greatest distance.  One of the goals of the WCPCA (World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association) is to hurl a pumpkin a full mile. The current record is 4,484 feet.  How many more feet do they have to go?  The pumpkin would need to travel at 1000 mph in order to make it the full mile.  How long will it take to reach it’s goal?  Once you’ve solved this trick, treat your students to one of the punkin chuckin videos on the Science Channel’s website.

3. Anoka, MN is the Halloween Capital of the World.  They created the first Halloween parade in 1920. How many years will it be before they can celebrate their 100th anniversary?  How many months?  Think that’s scary, now try to figure out how many days?


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Strategies for Math Students with Irlen Syndrome

This is the third video in our series honoring Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week.  At last year’s CAMT conference Marge Harris shared strategies she has successfully used to help math intervention students with Irlen Syndrome.

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