Scotch Tape and Gas Prices Dilemma

So, my whole recent obsession with Scotch Tape sort of began a few weeks ago when the following problem popped into my mind... Suppose your boss wants you to buy six 1/2 in x 450 in rolls of Scotch tape at the dollar store (remember the 6% Michigan sales tax).  Your boss wants you to use the tape to enclose an area of 3,225.8 square cm, but has only given you a budget of $7.00 to do so, including the amount of gas to drive back and forth to the dollar store, which is exactly 1.5 miles away from work.  Your car gets 0.0735 liters per kilometer city (you will not be taking the highway), gas is $4.09 per gallon, and your boss does not care about the gas that it takes to actually start your car.  Do you have enough tape to enclose the area that your boss asked to have enclosed?  If you do have...
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Rotten Tomatoes, Linear Equations, Ratio and Proportion

This problem came about because I was talking about solving the equation 4x + y = - 14 for y and there was a little confusion about how I could  subtract 4x from - 14.  Although this was really a problem with combining like terms, I figured that now was as good of a time as ever to reinforce the idea of combining like terms. "Yaletta bought an unknown number of tomatoes at $4 each, but when she got home, she found out that all of the tomatoes were rotten.  In addition, she checked her receipt and realized that the store had charged $14 to carry the tomatoes to the car.  Write an equation to model Yaletta's total losses." (as a signed number) The students seemed to come to the consensus that an appropriate answer would be y = - 4x - 14. Then I asked these questions as well: What does y represent? What does x represent? What does -4 mean? What...
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New Application Problems from the Classroom

Here are few more problems that I came up with during today's class: 1.  Clyde owed 8 different people $4 each for some doughnuts that he bought to eat on his birthday. Then when he wasn't looking, Hellman's stole $4 from Clyde's wallet.  In order to reclaim his debt, Clyde needed to split up his total losses over a period of nine months.  How much debt will he recover over each of the nine months? 2.  Clyde went to the store and he bought seven nuclear weapons, but he doesn't know the price of them yet.  He had to return four of the weapons because they were defective.  Then Clyde had to pay $9 in order to bribe a government official into letting him keep the weapons.  Finally, when buying the weapons, Clyde had a $4 off coupon.  How much did Clyde pay since he did not yet know the price per weapon? 3.  The hypotenuse of a right triangle...
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Teaching Signed Numbers with Zombies, Ghostbusters, and Night Vision Goggles

Here are three new application problems that I came up with while teaching signed numbers this morning.  Remember, I came up with these on the spot, during class.  So, just imagine that the entire class is paying attention to each of these problems as I am writing them, trying to figure out what is going to happen next to Clyde in each of the problems.  I hope you enjoy these! 1.  Clyde was walking down the street and he lost 1/3 of his vodka.  A little later down the street Clyde encountered a zombie who wanted to steal another 2/5 of his vodka.  The zombie agreed not to kill him if he told him the total loss that he incurred, as a signed number. 2.  Clyde was running another scam where he collected $6.20 from people to buy an invisible potion of life.  The local ghostbuster caught wind of this scam and blackmailed Clyde with a...
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