Optimizing Pencils in a Tray

This Optimizing Pencils in a Tray lesson plan also includes:

What do you call a story about a broken pencil? Pointless. Scholars may not be telling stories when using the resource, but they are solving optimization problems involving the maximum number of pencils that can fit on a tray. They finish by justifying their answers mathematically.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Have learners create optimization problems to share with the class
Classroom Considerations

  • This activity should be done before the associated lesson
  • Activity requires a large number of pencils

  • Includes suggestions for how to use the resource with lower and higher grades
  • Provides pictures of the setup and clear instructions

  • Teenagers may find the three parts of the activity to be a bit repetitive