October’s issue of the NCTM Mathematics Teacher magazine included an excerpt from an interesting article in their Media Clips section. They used a Forbes article that dealt with tween earnings, and the portion they included is:
Hollywood’s 10 top-earning tweens collectively pulled down $107 million between June 1, 2007 and June 1, 2008. According to Alloy Media and Marketing, it’s a rabid and often indulgent fan base: America’s 20 million kids aged 8 to 12 spend $51 billion of their own money annually and influence $150 billion more in spending by their doting parents. Tied for the top spot: Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus and Harry Potter lead Daniel Radcliffe. The young talents each banked a cool $25 million in the last year.
I love this article for the questions it could elicit. The problem with the Mathematics Teacher Magazine treatment of this is that it follows the article with 8 questions we are supposed to ask kids. Teachers might see this, and defer to the questions provided, thereby missing a great opportunity. I’d much rather show students the article, and have the kids decide what would be interesting to explore further. There are lots of potential rate and ratio questions that could come from student exploration here.