Bucket O Lies

I have a problem with throwing away plastic.  I just can't bring myself to do it.  In the borough where I live, there is a recycling program but it will only recycle #1 and #2.  This cute little bucket below is #5.

Have you seen these?  They put your fries in them at the fair.  Every year we order one of these, not only because we love to eat fresh cut fries, but because it makes carrying the goldfish we win easier.

I've been looking at these buckets for quite some time now and I starting to think about the Made4Math Challenge.  What could I do with a Bucket O Fries?

And then it hit me, they would be transformed into Bucket O Lies!!

At one point, I had only collected 3 buckets, so I turned to my Facebook friends who came through for me with 3 more buckets.  Thanks guys!!

For formative assessment, I created 12 quadratics that were solved (factoring, completing the square, and quadratic formula).  Some were solved correctly, others were solved incorrectly.  In groups of 4 the students had to sort through the papers and decided which ones were correct and for those that were incorrect, they were to indicate where the person went wrong.

After all groups were finished we looked at each problem one-by-one.  I called on students randomly with the name cards (popsicle sticks).  I was surprised by how many misconceptions that were uncovered by doing this.  

One student asked, "Can we make our own bucket o lies?''
My response, "You bet!  It would count towards High Performance."

I'm getting it now.  You know, the whole being-a-better-teacher thing.  
Standing up front lecturing everyday stinks.  But this lesson had the students working together, analyzing problems, justifying their reasoning, responding to other students' ideas, and of course learning the lesson objectives.  


  1. this is what i love most about twitter/blogs - "why didn't i think of that" - simple activities teachers are willing to share...so other classrooms can become better! thanks for sharing - I WILL be using bucket o' lies soon!

  2. I love this idea. Could work for almost any topic. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I agree with Pam - this is an awesome idea that I will be stealing too! :) Pinned!

  4. I would be fun to have the students submit their own work and then have other groups analyze it.

  5. Great idea! Thank you for sharing!!!

  6. Great idea!! Thank you for sharing!!

  7. I LOVE this and ended up making an organizer for it whenI reviewed logarithms. I added "should be's" so the students could fix the lines in my "lies" that were wrong. Here it is! I hope it helps...

  8. I love it! I'm shortening it to make it a play on the "Two truths and a lie" icebreaker because I want to make it work for my class (pairs of students, and less time to fill!) Two will be right, one will be wrong. Then we can even share some personal "two truths and a lie" for fun and to peak interest.

  9. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to using it!

  10. Hi! I"m really interested in this but having trouble downloading. Could you please send it to kskaar@hartdistrict.org ? Thank you!


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