Schools aren’t just for people, you know. A lot of classrooms have a class pet. Whether it’s a hamster, a lizard, or a bunny, the class pet is your buddy. You can even give it the parts of your lunch you don’t want. Hershey and Snickers, the Bedtime Math guinea pigs shown here, will happily eat your leftover carrots. But any animal is basically an eating, drinking, pooping machine. Who takes care of these critters over the weekends and holidays? Many pets get to go home with a student, and that lucky person might be you! Let’s do the math to see how hard you’ll have to work.
Wee ones: If you feed Floppy the fish on the 1st day of the month and the 3rd day of the month, which number day did you skip?
Little kids: If someone needs to feed the hermit crabs every 3rd day starting on a Sunday, on what day do they eat for the 3rd time? Bonus: If Hershey and Snickers each eat 5 big carrot sticks each day, how many do they eat in total when you take them home for a 2-day weekend?
Big kids: If there are 35 week(end)s of school and your class has 23 kids, and you each take a turn bringing home Godzilla the gerbil, how many kids get a 2nd weekend with Godzilla? Bonus: If all but 7 kids are allergic to gerbils, how many times do those lucky 7 kids each get to take Godzilla?
Wee ones: The 2nd day.
Little kids: On Saturday. Bonus: 20 sticks, since together they eat 10 each day.
Big kids: 12 kids. Bonus: 5 times each.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.