So, this summer, while watching more television than was good for me, I noticed the Esurance commercial about saving a ton of dollars (see video: Esurance Commerical). A mathematical question occurred to me... just how many dollars ARE in a ton? This is the question we investigated in math today.
We began by watching the video and I posed the day's question. Then I asked the all important question: How much does a dollar weigh?. To answer this.... we googled it. We discovered that all forms of paper currency weigh 1 gram.
I also took a minute to discuss the number 453.592. I wanted them to realize that although the number 453.592 looks like a large number, when you place the word gram with it, you are talking about 1 pound, which is not a heavy weight. It is very important for students to look at labels and think about their meaning, instead of looking at the number only and making an assumption. I explained that the 453 is the number of dollars in a pound and the .592 is the weight towards the next dollar. We could round our information to say that 1 pound = $454.
Next, we used "BOB" to determine how many pounds are in a ton (2000). We used calculators to multiply 453.592 and 2000. Thereby discovering that there are $907,184 dollars in a ton!
Using this information, we reviewed what we did in class last week. Each student chose a digit, named its period, its place, and its value. They wrote the answer to our question (How many dollars in a ton?) in both word and expanded form. Then, I asked them to round the number to the nearest hundred.
To finish off our day, I had them work with four whole number place value problems. These were turned in for a grade.
The homework tonight is: