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Magic Squares

6-8
This lesson explores magic squares from both a historical and mathematical perspective. The mathematical analysis leads into symbolic algebraic representation of the patterns. This lesson is based upon an article from the April 2001 edition of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.

A Lunch-In Affair

6-8
Students organize and prepare a luncheon for the entire class. Working in committees, each group of students is responsible for a different aspect of the event.

Football Finances

6-8
In this activity, students analyze pictures of football stands to make estimates related to the attendance at the Super Bowl. The students will realize that estimates must, at times, be made with little background information and that a range of answers might be correct. Students also make estimates about the television audience.

Airport Numbers

6-8
The activities at this level use an airport theme to investigate numbers. Students are encouraged to relate the numbers to familiar situations, for example, to use the dimensions of the classroom to describe an airplane.

Birthdays and the Binary System

6-8
This lesson is a collection of three activities, all of which revolve around patterns and place value in the binary system. Grades 5‑8 students are drawn into the mathematics by the "magical" ability to guess an unknown number and by the use of birthdays, something they find very relevant. This lesson plan is adapted from the September 1997 edition of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.

Grid and Percent It

6-8
In this lesson, students use a 10 × 10 grid as a model for solving various types of percent problems. This model offers a means of representing the given information as well as suggesting different approaches for finding a solution. This lesson is adapted from "A Conceptual Model for Solving Percent Problems," which originally appeared in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Vol. 1, No. 1 (April 1994), pp. 20-25.

The Factor Game

6-8
The Factor Game engages students in a friendly contest in which winning strategies involve distinguishing between numbers with many factors and numbers with few factors. Students are then guided through an analysis of game strategies and introduced to the definitions of prime and composite numbers.

Five's a Crowd

6-8
Students play a game in which they try to list 5 countries or states in order from most crowded to least crowded. Using area and population data from a Web site, they estimate quotients to make their list. They determine whose list is closest to the actual order by applying a mathematical model (scoring system), which they later evaluate.

Fun with Baseball Stats

6-8
The following grades 6-8 activities allow students to explore statistics surrounding baseball. They are exposed to connections between various mathematical concepts and see where this mathematics is used in areas with which they are familiar. This lesson plan is adapted from the May 1996 edition of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.

Classic Middle-Grades Problems for the Classroom

6-8
This lesson presents two classic problems (Mangoes Problem and Sailors and Coconuts) that can be represented and solved in several different ways. Middle-grades students work in groups on the problems to promote communication of mathematical ideas, and a variety of classroom solution attempts are described. This lesson plan was adapted from an article, written by Jerry Stonewater, which appeared in the November‑December 1994 issue of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.