So, Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer) recently introduced Makeover Mondays where we, as a math blog community, makeover a series of textbook problems that have some potential as usable contexts, but have low impact delivery for engagement or cognitive demand.
This is my first attempt to offer something to the conversation.
So, here’s the first target:
So, here’s where my mind went in terms of making over this problem: First, the idea of “biggest bedroom” is a fairly appealing idea, except I don’t recall competing for biggest room with my friends. So, insert a new plot twist. Rodney and Emile are brother and sister.
Second, most of the competition for biggest room comes when the rooms are both empty. That is, move-in day. Most of my students are fairly well-acquainted with the idea of moving. So, remove the detached rectangles and insert a floor plan.
Third, let’s add a bit of complexity. Both of the children move in with their own furniture, but, of course, with one being a girl and one being a boy, the furniture is not the same. Emile has this dresser and this bed. Rodney has a combo piece that includes both bed and dresser.
They are going to also move in with toys, a lamp, a chair for the bedtime book, among several other things.
Finally, the new task: You are the parent in charge of making the decision over who gets which room. Who gets which room?