Math Classroom Supplies

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Task

Your teacher was just awarded \$1, 000 to spend on materials for your classroom. She asked all 20 of her students in the class to help her decide how to spend the money. Think about which supplies will benefit the class the most.

Supplies Cost A box of 20 markers \$5 A box of 100 crayons \$8 A box of 60 pencils \$5 A box of 5, 000 pieces of printer paper \$40 A package of 10 pads of lined paper \$15 A box of 50 pieces of construction paper \$32 Books and maps A set of 20 books about science \$250 A set of books about the 50 states \$400 A story book (there are 80 to choose from) \$8 A map: there is one of your city, one for every state, one of the country, and one of the world to choose from \$45 Puzzles and games Puzzles (there are 30 to choose from) \$12 Board games (there are 40 to choose from) \$15 Interactive computer games (math and reading) \$75 Special Items A bean bag chair for the reading corner \$65 A class pet \$150 Three month's supply of food for a class pet \$55 A field trip to the zoo \$350
  1. Write down the different items and how many of each you would choose. Find the total for each category.
    • Supplies
    • Books and maps
    • Puzzles and games
    • Special items
  2. Create a bar graph to represent how you would spend the money. Scale the vertical axis by \$100. Write all of the labels.
  3. What was the total cost of all your choices? Did you have any money left over? If so, how much?
  4. Compare your choices with a partner. How much more or less did you choose to spend on each category than your partner? How much more or less did you choose to spend in total than your partner?

IM Commentary

The purpose of this task is for students to "Solve problems involving the four operations" (3.OA.A) and "Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories" (3.MD.3). Additionally, students will engage in MP3, Model with mathematics. In this task students are asked to decide how to spend \$1, 000 on supplies and materials for their classroom; students will have to make choices and be careful not to exceed the budget. Students are asked to decide which supplies will benefit the class the most and will compare their choices with other students' choices. Because the budget does not allow students to buy one of everything, this task provides an opportunity for teachers to discuss costs and benefits. A benefit is something that satisfies your wants. A cost is what you give up when you decide to do something.

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