Math in a Minute: Winter Edition

Volume 3 Issue 14

The Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas

Time Magazine evaluated the costs of each of the items from the 12 Days of Christmas! For some math fun, have your learners use this information to find out

  • How many items must be purchased to fulfill the song?
  • How much each item is (example: How much is 1 turtle dove)?
  • How much does it cost to purchase it all?
  • What is the difference in prices from last year to this year?

These are the prices for 2014...

  • Partridge, $20; last year: $15
  • Pear tree, $188; last year: $184
  • Two turtle doves, $125; last year: same
  • Three French hens, $181; last year: $165
  • Four calling birds (canaries), $600; last year: same
  • Five gold rings, $750; last year: same
  • Six geese-a-laying, $360; last year: $210
  • Seven swans a-swimming, $7,000; last year: same
  • Eight maids a-milking, $58; last year: same
  • Nine ladies dancing (per performance), $7,553; last year: same
  • Ten lords a-leaping (per performance), $5,348; last year: $5,243
  • Eleven pipers piping (per performance), $2,635; last year: same
  • Twelve drummers drumming (per performance), $2,855; last year: same

Information from Time Magazine
Click here for the video/song

Winter Thinking Problems

The signboard repeats the words SnowDay over and over again.

  • Will the 100th letter be in the word Snow or Day?
  • What letter will be in the 100th place
  • Answers available at

The signboard repeats the phrase “School Closed!” over and over again. Notice that there are spaces between the words School and Closed and between ! and School.

  • Will the 100th symbol be a letter, a space, or the exclama-

    tion point?

  • What symbol will be in the 100th place?
  • Answers available at

One thermos of hot chocolate uses 2/3 cup of cocoa powder.

  • How many thermoses can you make with 3 cups of cocoa powder?
  • How much cocoa powder would you need to make sure everyone in your class has a thermos of hot chocolate?
  • Click here for the song Hot Chocolate from Polar Express

Some people love the taste of coffee in their hot chocolate.

  • If a man drinks 1/2 cup of hot chocolate, then fills the cup with coffee. After drinking another 1/2 cup, he again fills the cup with coffee. He continues in this way until he has consumed 3 cups of the liquid. How much of the orignal hot choclate remains in the cup?

Nana's Chocolate Milk: Three Act Math

Dan Myer's Three Act Math: Nana's Chocolate Milk

Graphing Winter

Here are some ideas to graph for winter!
  • Do you wear mittens or gloves? a hooded jacket or a hat?
  • Have you ever worn your pajamas inside out?
  • What is your favorite season?
  • Which of these would you like to try: skiing, sledding, building snowmen, ice skating?
  • Do you prefer warm weather or cold weather?
  • Do you like marshmallows in your hot chocolate?
  • Have you ever baked gingerbread cookies?
  • Have you ever built a snowman?
  • Do you predict that we will have a snow or ice day this school year?
  • Will you travel during the holiday?  Will you travel out of state during the holiday? Will you travel out of the country this holiday?

New Years Eve Party Game

Last year I went to a New Year’s party. There were 8 children there and they all happened to be wearing black sweaters. My uncle gathered them together, found some chalk, and wrote one number on the back of each child. The numbers were: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. My uncle then asked whether it was possible to arrange the children into two groups of four, such that the numbers on the backs of the children in each group came to the same total. After much messing around, we managed it. Can you?
**Think outside the box!!!