Math Mess

A Math Mess is an everyday problem that requires an inquisitive mind, determination and a little number sense to solve. Math Messes can pop up when you least expect them – and in each short, animated Math Mess video, you’ll meet some mathematically-challenged characters who are right smack in the middle of one.

Each video comes with a handy Teacher’s Guide to aid educators in the classroom – offering suggested solutions and extension activities that align to the Common Core Mathematics Standards. The Math Mess video series was designed specifically to promote inquiry and problem-solving in elementary and middle school classrooms.

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  • What is a Math Mess?

    Introducing the Math Mess video series, supplemental lesson plans, and how to integrate them into the classroom. Students will use a variety of math skills to find solutions to these real world applications of mathematics.
    Grades: 3-7, 13+
  • The Belly Buster Pizza Puzzle

    Doubling something isn't always easy! See if you can figure out why if Tito sells his new pizza for $19.99 he'll be in trouble. Use what you know about area, rates, and proportions to figure out how much Tito should charge or what the dimensions of the new pizza should be in this real world application of math.

    Grades: 5-7
  • Clash of the Iguanas

    Calculating rates of change can be tough! See if you can figure out why Pete's claim that his iguana grew more than Pauly's is wrong. Use what you know about measurement, fractions, and rates to figure out which iguana grew more in this real world application of math.
    Grades: 4-6
  • The Downtown Sale

    Carla’s birthday cash is burning a hole in her pocket, but the stores downtown have her in a bind!  Her favorite three stores all have sales – “Buy Two Get One Free,” “40% off Everything,” and “Buy One Get One Half Off.”  Which sale will give Carla the most bang for her buck?

    Grades: 5-7
  • The Bulging Briefcase

    Somehow, a bank robber managed to infiltrate Mercenary Bank – and he’s looking to fill a briefcase with a million dollars in stacks of 50 dollar bills.  But is his briefcase large enough to hold a million bucks?

    Grades: 6
  • The Really Big Shoe Sale

    Use what you know about percents, ratios, and proportions to figure out the sale price in this real world application of math. See if you can figure out how they calculated the correct price for the shoes Carla likes. Combining percents can be tricky!
    Grades: 4-6
  • Math Magic

    Magic or math? Marko the Magnificent has one more trick up his sleeve, see if he impresses you with his math magic. Use your mental math skills to calculate your answer then see if you can figure out the secret to this trick.

    Grades: 3-6
  • The Shadow Knows

    He might be at an amusement park, but Cory isn’t amused.  His mom’s silly rules are such a buzzkill. She won’t let him go on any ride over 100 feet!  He has his eye on the Ferris wheel, but can he figure out how tall it is using shadows?

    Grades: 7
  • Making a Math Mess

    Making a mess is easy, but making a Math Mess requires a bit more coordination. Each Math Mess video requires teamwork, creativity, and a bit of math skill. Come behind the scenes to find out how the Math Mess video series was created!

    Grades: 5-7