Mr. Jones' Room

1st-4th Math Coach Constantly Searching for New Ideas

VERY Premature Post of the Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL

Update: After some feedback this is where I’m at with this lesson.

Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.001 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.002 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.003 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.004 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.005 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.006 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.007

This slide has a video of the main parts of the Bottle Deposit Seinfeld episode

This slide has a video of the main parts of the Bottle Deposit Seinfeld episode

Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.009 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.010 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.011 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.012 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.013 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.014 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.015 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.016 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.017 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL Images.018

I don’t know that I’m going to give them all the formulas/equations/information. Those may turn into blank slides with space to do work together. Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated!!


ORIGINAL:While relaxing last night, watching one of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld I realized there’s a TON of math in the Bottle Deposit episode. This is my first pass at making a 3-Act out of it. From what I can tell, I have a few problems with the way I made the lesson but I’m not sure how to get around it. I think that suggestions from the brighter minds of MTBOS will help greatly. I just wanted to get down all my ideas in a presentation before all the ideas left my head. I’m thinking of Dan Meyer’s advice to be “less helpful.” But, I’m having a hard time around giving them so much information during the course of the lesson. Any and all ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.001 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.002 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.003 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.004 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.005 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.006 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.007 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.008 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.009 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.010 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.011 Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL.012


9 comments on “VERY Premature Post of the Seinfeld Bottle Deposit PrBL

  1. carloliwitter
    May 24, 2014

    I like the premise and the focus on rates. Maybe you don’t show them the seinfeld video until act II. Maybe the initial premise is just some guy who is 1 (or 5 or 10) mile(s) away from a store and wants to just throw the bottles from his family picnic away. The question could be whether or not it’s worth it just to go 1 mile and they can calculate the expense of driving bottles around independent of the trip to michigan context.

    Also you could give them one car at the start and then save the list of cars until later. Given that you’re in brooklyn, and a lot of kids might not really understand cars, build in time to explain what MPG and why there are 3 types of gas.

    This might also be relevant:

    • matt13jones
      May 24, 2014

      Interesting…I really like starting it off as a simple “should I throw it out or bring it to be deposited” in a small context and then expanding it to the Seinfeld part. Thanks! This was just kind of an information dump so I didn’t forget what I was aiming for. It definitely needs a lot of polishing up.

  2. Joe Schwartz
    May 24, 2014

    I think you also need to take into account the lost value of JFK’s golf clubs.

    • matt13jones
      May 24, 2014

      Very true…the shapely woman up front drove up the price substantially

    • matt13jones
      May 25, 2014

      Very true…that took a lot from the potential profits!

  3. Mr_Kunkel
    June 9, 2014

    I like this. I’m going to try it using 1995 gas prices (~1.35 per gallon). The deposit hasn’t changed in 20 years but gas is about 3x higher. I’m going to have the kids figure out if Newman is right that it doesn’t work. Although, I think we need ignore the added weight of all the cans. That would be hard.

    • matt13jones
      June 9, 2014

      Definitely a great idea! I hadn’t really thought of that. I love Seinfeld so much that it’s hard for me to remember that it premiered when I was a year old.. There are definitely logistical issues with volume/size/price etc. This could turn into an examination of how many cans could actually even fit in a postal truck. Lots of different ways to go! Please let me know how it goes if you use it!

      • Mr_Kunkel
        June 10, 2014

        I started it today. I decided to go in a much more open ended fashion. I showed a 1 min clip of the episode to set it up and then just asked them if it would be possible to make money doing this bottle deposit scam. We are using 1995 gas prices but I let them pick any consumer class car/truck they wanted. They had to research cargo space and fuel efficiency of their choice. It’s going to take a lot of estimating. I also decided to focus on communication. IE, I have the kids working in partners. Each team will present their solution and try to convince the rest of the class their answer makes sense. The kids were very engaged today and had all kinds of great ideas. This was a good find.

  4. Pingback: The Bottle Deposit — Hobo Math Day -11 | axes of symmetry

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This entry was posted on May 24, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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