Using Video/Images to Engage Students in Math

Here are a few examples of how I use Video and/or images to engage students in my math classes.

– Most of the ideas here are not my own. Credit should be given to Dan Meyer, Andrew Stadel and Kyle Pearce.

As warm up activities:

Estimation180 is great for warm ups but even better for getting students to practice predicting their answer which allows them to decide if their answer they calculate makes sense.

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Here is an example:

Estimate: Day 53

 What is the volume of the vase?


Questions we ask to get students thinking of reasonableness of their answers.

Give an estimate that is too low.

Give an estimate that is too high

Give an estimate that is just right.


Video Answer


Engaging Math Problems vs. Standard Math Problems


3-Act Math Problems

Original concept from Dan Meyer – Read about it – The Three Acts of a Mathematical Story


Here is a standard Math problem from grade 9

A remote control car travels 4.5 feet in 0.6 seconds. How long will it take to go 22ft?

Here is an example of the same problem but presented in a more engaging way.

Ferrari Ride

Act 1: The intro……show the problem

What did we wonder?

-When will the zebra get dragged?

-Give an estimate.

Act 2: Gather Information to help answer our question.

Ferrari Ride – Act 2 from Mr.Stadel on Vimeo.

Extra info.

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Act 3: Show the answer!!

Ferrari Ride – Act 3 from Mr.Stadel on Vimeo.


Another Example:

Humming Bird Problem:

A humming bird flaps its wings 27 times in half a second. How many times will it flap its wings in 1 second? 1 minute? 5 minutes?


Same Problem – Jazzed Up

Watch the humming bird!

Act 2: