The Cup Stacking Activity is Introduced

Think of a stack of plastic cups. How many would it take to reach the ceiling?


Review the handout Ms. England gives her students:


As the lesson begins, Ms. England has posed to her class the following question: If we were to create a stack of plastic cups on the classroom floor, how many cups would be required to reach the ceiling? The intent here is that a strategy be devised so that the entire tower does not actually have to be built to answer the question for various cup sizes. That is, although each stack will contain only one size cup, the students will answer the question for different cup sizes. View the clip, Stacking Cups Introduction, in which Ms. England and the class discuss various strategies for solving this problem.

Classroom Clip Reflection:

  • How does Ms. England gather different ideas for solving this problem?
  • How does she link this experiment with prior learning or activities?
  • What are the implications for your own work with students?