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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Task Problem Tuesday

I am excited to announce my new feature, Task Problem Tuesday. If you're like me, I'm always scrambling for a new task. It doesn't matter what mathematical topic I'm teaching, I'm always trying to come up with new task problems. And the more they relate to real life, the better. So once a month I am going to start blogging about some of my favorite task problems.  I picked Tuesday nights because I've been going to school every Tuesday night for the last two years working on my math endorsement, but my schedule cleared up in the fall. So welcome to Task Problem Tuesday.

Back in March I linked up with Miss Math Dork for her Math IS Real Life and I blogged about building garden boxes and the task I gave my students. You can read that here. When I moved into volume,  I extended the previous problem to come up with this new task.

These are the actual sizes of my garden boxes which are shown in this picture.

Mathematical Tasks:
1.  How much soil will I need to fill my boxes?

2.  I want to fill them with 2/3 dirt and 1/3 mink manure. How much will I need of each?

3.  Luckily my neighbor has too much dirt sitting on his lot. He will let me have the dirt I need for free.  However, it costs $170 dollars to have 7 cubic yards of mink manure delivered to my house. How much will it cost for the mink manure?

4.  Will it change the price dramatically if I leave the soil in each box 6 inches lower than the sides? How much would I save?

This task requires a lot of problem solving. Students were converting measurements, calculating volume, multiplying, adding, dividing, and subtracting. They were using whole numbers and fractions.  I ended up leaving the top six inches of each box empty. I'll add compost to them for the next few years to fill them up, we just got tired of shoveling dirt and manure and didn't want to spend any more money.  But here is how they looked when I planted the garden.

I'm not sure I wanted to know the total cost of that mink manure, but it was in the name of real life math. Happy problem solving!

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