Photo by Maura Teague
Here’s a quick opener for your school day. Write this on your board as kids walk in:
On day one, you have one penny. On day two, you double it. Then, you double your total again on day three. If you keep this up, how many days until you’re a millionaire?
26 delightful mathematical curiosities - simple enough for elementary students, yet rich with deep possibilities. Learn more...
Before they tackle it, first ask them to guess. A year? Six months? If they’re reluctant, do as Dan Meyer says, and ask for “too low” and “too high” guesses. It’s probably not a week. It’s probably not a century.
Then let them go at it. Depending on your students’ ages, they’ll probably try tackling this in all sorts of ways. Once they hit the (surprising) number, ask for all of the different methods they used.
Spoiler: it’ll take less than a month.