Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How much is your time worth?

For our math team warm up this week we spent the first 15 minutes of our meeting working on a Figure This! problem from the NCTM.  The problem asks:

Would you rather work seven days at $20 per day or be paid $2 for the first day and have your salary double everyday for a week?

We spend the first 5 minutes or so working individually (it was interesting that all of us automatically went to work on our own first, rather than just start talking about it) and then came back together and shared out our thoughts.  We all agreed that we would prefer the second option because we would end up with more money after seven days, but any days less than seven, we would prefer the $20 per day.  I asked everyone in the group to share out how they approached the problem and it was interesting to see and hear how people organized their information.

What am I learning about collaboration?
I am curious to see what other Figure This! problems are out there because I think that these would be awesome to do with my 8th graders.  This problem in particular is an interesting problem to think about because it deals with money and bring up the idea that you'd only want to choose the second option if you were working for seven or more days.  I think this problem would lend itself great to discussions on how we represent data as tables, equations, and graphs.  It was awesome to see my colleagues approach this problem the same way I hope my students would approach it.


  1. And what about exactly 7 days, since that's one week? I would want the $20 right at $140...
    Day 1: $2
    Day 2: $4
    Day 3: $8
    Day 4: $16
    Day 5: $32
    Day 6: $64
    Day 7: $128

  2. It seems like you have found a resource for problems to do together that can then be transferred into classrooms, that's great.
    I think everyone beginning their work independently is interesting... Is that usually what happens when the group first starts working?