Table Talk Book Math Challenge

In the last few weeks I have been getting in the amazing books from Dave Burgess Consulting Inc and the new IMpress. After I finish reading the books, I always go over them several times and stack them on each other. My son the other day was taking one of his toys and seeing if he could match the toy height with the books to make a tower. I asked him how many books he had to use to get them even. He went through various books trying to get the right height for the stack of books to his toy. He finally put up: Lead like a Pirate, Table Talk Math (ironically), Unmapped Potential and Teacher Myth to get he hight right for his 6″ toy. I told him good job and then asked him how many pages that was. He looked at me with an: “What?” look on his face. the later flipped to the back and told me the page numbers. So, this got me thinking of a great challenge you can do with students.

  1. Action Figure Measurement Table TalkFirst get an action figure, this can be any type, I chose Kylo Ren unmasked from The Force Awakens. Using Google Drawings or another annotation App, put the height down for the action figure. For Kylo it’s 3.75″.



2. tabletalkmath-books.pngNext, I give two piles of books that students can use for the challenge and measure them out. Now as you can seeI choose Social Leadia and Shattering the Teacher Myth and measured them out at 1 1/2″ and then Spark and The Innovator’s Mind Set at 1″ even. So, students know they have to find 1.25″ inches of books to match the height of Kylo Ren. Students then take a set of books and try to equal the height to the action figure. Once they have matched the height with the right book comes the next part.

3. Have them see how many pages that is and I mean all the pages, including previews and forwards to the pile of books. Once they put down the amount of pages, ask them how long it would take them to read that many pages. Each student will have a different answer. My son told me the books for his toy would take me two days and if you think about it with my reading speed and comprehension, that was pretty much right.


This can be adapted in many ways for both Math and Reading. You can have Kindergarteners use Google Sheets to Pixel Art Measure the action figure heights and the amount of books needed. For Middle School and Hight Schoolers you can challenge them to a Reading Contest on finishing those books in their estimated time. You can also just have students create a story around the books and the action figure for a fun writing project. The point is to get students talking about Math in their daily lives and having some serious fun with serious learning.  Give it a try.


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