Solve Like a Blue Man

After watching a world-famous Blue Man Group performance, I left with countless questions about what it takes to create this unique experience. Many of these questions could be answered by reviewing Blue Man Group’s fun facts, but then what’s the fun in that? By taking out some of the key information, I can use the fun facts in my classroom to help create real-world mathematical scenarios that my students are eager to solve. I challenge you to try it with your children at home or at school!

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WHAT’S MISSING?

There is a part in the show where the three Blue Men transform their mouths from tools for painting into percussion instruments by crunching loudly on Cap’n Crunch cereal. The alternating and synchronized crunches create a unique rhythm that adds to the wonder of the performance. It’s incredible to watch!

Explaining or showing students how versatile standard objects are within the Blue Man Group performance helps them to make essential connections between mathematics and the Fun Facts. Once that important step is made, we can begin discussing a plan of action and solve for the missing information from the list.

I recommend guiding the conversation with questions. Allow your child (or your students) to grapple with understanding what skills are required to solve each problem. Hold yourself back from giving them this information and instead allow them to explain their answers and support their reasoning.

I’ve found that when learners are able to develop their own understanding, rather than me giving the information up front, the effect is much greater. Some questions you might use for these #MathMoments include:

  • What operation do you think we should use to solve for the missing information? How do you know?
  • What should we do first? Why?
  • How will we know if our answer is reasonable?
  • What’s another way that we could have solved this problem?
  • How could we represent this problem with a visual model?
  • Are there any other reasonable solutions? How do you know?
  • What would it look like if I were to purchase it in the store? How much do you think it would cost?

 

JUST FOR TEACHERS

Did you know that Blue Man Group has partnered with the Florida Education Foundation to create discounted ticket prices just for Florida teachers? Take advantage of this limited time opportunity either by bringing your students on a unique learning experience or enjoying a night out to watch the show with family and friends. Click HERE for more information or call 407-BLUEMAN (407-258-3626).

 

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