This Week From Bedtime Math: Roll Out the Green Carpet

Your color choices might be limited, but you can make your lawn as comfy as your living room. Add up some blades of grass in today&s math challenge.
By Laura Overdeck
Jan 07, 2014



Jan 07, 2014

What is Bedtime Math? A message from Laura: Bedtime Math is a pretty simple idea: We all know we should read to our kids at night, but what about math? My husband and I have done fun, mischief-loaded math problems with our kids at night for years, and when at age 2 our third child started hollering for his own math problem, we realized we were onto something:  In a world where so many people say, "Ewww, math!" we had created a household culture where kids don't just tolerate math, they actually seek it out. Now, every week, we'll be posting a new problem right here on Scholastic Parents!
When we walk barefoot on really thick, green grass, it can almost feel like walking on a carpet. The funny thing is, you can actually peel that layer of grass off the ground and roll it up like a carpet, too! These flat "pieces" of grass are called sod, and you can put it down somewhere else and let it keep growing. As you see in the photo, this house has rolls and rolls of this live green carpeting waiting to be laid out over a yard to make a nice, grassy lawn. But just like laying down carpet in your house, you'd better measure carefully and figure out how many pieces you need. In this case, if you don't have enough, those bare feet of yours are going to get dirty.

See if your kids can come up with the answers to these math word problems:

Wee ones: If you look at the second row of each pile, where you see the spirally ends of the rolls, how many rolls wide is a pile of sod?

Little kids: Each full layer has 2 rows of 5 rolls each. How many rolls of sod is that?  Bonus: If you take 3 of them and unroll them to make your own little green carpet, how many are left in that layer?

Big kids: Each square piece is about 4 feet wide. How many square feet of dirt does each piece cover?  Bonus: If each pile has 5 layers, with 10 rolls in each layer except 8 in the top one so they don't fall off, how many rolls are there in a pile?

Wee ones: 5 rolls wide.
Little kids: 10 rolls of sod.  Bonus: 7 rolls left.
Big kids: 16 square feet.  Bonus: 48 rolls (40 in the first 4 layers, plus 8 more).

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