Energy Bites! – 3 Act Math

Today I made our go to snack…..peanut butter bites. My kids eat these up like crazy. I turned the making into a math task.

Act 1:

Ask for what they notice and what they wonder?

The intended question here is: How many energy bites will be made?

Have them guess. Too high…too low….best guess.

Ask for what information we would need.

Act 2:


They may notice that the ball is not quite lined up right. How will the adjust?



Is the bite a perfect sphere? Will a sphere be good enough? Give them the volume of a sphere formula. Let them work.

You students may notice the dimensions of the bowl…..or also may notice that its filled up to the 500ml mark. An interesting task will be to calculate the number of bites using either the volume using the dimensions or the volume using the measuring cup.

Act 3: The reveal

Possible sequel question:

What would be the diameter of the giant Peanut Butter Ball if all 22 were mashed together?


And now for the recipe….as requested by Meg Craig!


Updating the MFM1P Spiral

“Have you taught for 25 years? Or have you taught one year 25 times?”

I don’t think I’ve taught the same course the same way ever. Why would we? We don’t have the same kids in front of us. And especially with the resources at our finger tips from our colleagues inside and outside of our schools. I’ve wrote before about the power of #mtbos and it changes the way you teach.

I started spiralling the MFM1P course a few years ago with Kyle Pearce. Since then I’ve taught that course 3 or 4 semesters in row…..and never the same way. New amazing lessons and tools are springing up. For past lessons I wasn’t completely happy with I’ve got to see if this new lesson or that lesson will help my students understand the concepts more deeply.

One change I wanted to make was to include solving equations earlier in the course. In my old plan I waited to introduce it after introducing linear relations. But, after teaching solving equations using the Double Clothesline and the puzzle nature of learning it that way….I can introduce it now and continually practice our skills through warm ups.

If you want to follow along as my day-to-day plan unfolds follow this link! If any of you have been spiralling MFM1P I would love compare notes, or see your plans.