Waste Not, Want Not!

Problem Posing

This math happening was inspired by my friend Mary anne Rossbach, a brilliant math coach at Mosby Woods Elementary-

She was sadden by the Food Warrior Project data  but also inspired by how they took action and engage her students in the work of cutting down food waste.

She used these photo prompts and real data from the cafeteria to inspire math modeling to take action.

    • What do you wonder about?
    • From the list of wonders, how can we use math to make a decision? How can math serve our needs?            
    • What do you notice? What do you wonder?
    • What is interesting or important about this situation?
    • Who cares about this situation?
    • What other information do you need?  Are there important quantities?

      How many seats on the bus? How many kids/adults can seat in a seat?
      How many students going on the field trip? How many teachers & chaperones?

Making Assumptions and Considering the Variables

Sample Prompt:  

Gathering Information

    • If I knew______, then I could figure out_______
    • Let’s assume__________.
    • What assumptions can we make around the problem to simplify the problem posed?
  • Here is some ideas generated by students at Mosby Woods. 

Solving- Doing the Mathematics/Building a model

Sample Prompt:  

  • What math do you know that can help you solve the problem?
  • What are some common misconceptions that could arise at this stage, and how can they be addressed?
Sample Prompt:  

  • How might we use our solution to other similar problems?
  • Can this solution help us with other problems?

 Is there a model/formula that I can reuse or share with other field trip planners?

Analyzing and revising the model

Sample Prompt:  

  • How might we become even more precise with our model?
  • How might our model change if we changed some of our previous assumptions?

Reporting out- Sharing & Connecting Real world Math to school math

Sample Prompt:  

  • How does all the math we used in this problem relate to what we covering as math topics this year?
  • Can you identify all the math and strategies we used to tackle this problem?


WWF Food Waste Warrior 







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