Birthday Party Best Deal

Here is a different “best deal”  problem!  In my daughter’s Grade 5 classroom we adapted a Patterning & Algebra problem that was shared on Twitter thanks to Michael Sloan.

For your birthday, you have decided to take your friends to play Laser Tag.  You have two choices.

Super Laser offers $1.50 per game and a $3.00 fee for use of equipment.  Laser R Us offers a rate of $2.00 per game.  There is not rental fee at Laser R Us for equipment use.  At both places each game lasts the same amount of time.

Which place would you use for your party?  Justify your choice by showing all of your work.

We adapted this because we wanted to focus on comparing information on two different T-charts.  Because many of the students had previously experienced challenges organizing their information we were very explicit in how we wanted them to set up their work for the purpose of making comparisons.  We noticed right off one student dividing his page in half vertically so we got him to share why he had started this way.  He shared that “Super Laser” would go on one side and “Laser R Us” would go on the other.  From that we added more instructions.

  1.  Begin by drawing a line down the middle of your page.
  2. Label one side “Super Laser” and the other side “Laser R Use”.
  3. Create a T-chart to display the data for 1-10 games.
  4. Record the data and compare.

If this had been our first lesson we would not have been as direct about how we wanted the work to look.  Previous student work indicated this as a need.  This was a few lessons in, so perfect timing for students to experience how organizing their work this way helped them to see the patterns and make comparisons.

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