Christmas Math for Portola Valley Students

Students in Portola Valley schools are getting ready for Christmas (this Friday)! Our Mathnasium staff have written some Christmas-themed math problems to celebrate the holiday! If you need a break from the holidays and feel like doing math, here are some problems just for you! We hope that Portola Valley students take advantage of the holiday break to get ahead on math.

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1. Santa Claus is driving his sleigh from Bakersfield to Portola Valley, in a hurry to deliver his presents. If his sleigh goes at 130 miles per hour, and the distance between the two cities is approximately 200 miles, how long will it take him to arrive?

2. Each family gives Santa Claus approximately 5 cookies. There are about 30 families in your neighborhood. How many cookies will Santa Claus receive from your neighborhood?

3. For Christmas vacation, you are going to visit your grandparents in Salt Lake City! If you leave Portola Valley at 7:23 am in the morning, and arrive in Salt Lake City at 6:51 pm, how many hours and minutes did you travel? (Remember, there’s a one hour time difference between Portola Valley and Salt Lake City! Subtract one horu)

4. You receive 3 gifts from your grandma, 2 gifts from your grandpa, 1 gift from your younger brother, 5 gifts from your aunt, 3 gifts from your father, 9 gifts from your mother, and 2 gifts from your best friend, how many total gifts did you receive?

5. There’s a holiday sale at your local Portola Valley department store! Winter jackets usually cost $59.99, but are on sale for 45% off during the Christmas holidays! How much do the jackets cost while on sale?

We hope you enjoyed these Christmas-themed math problems, Portola Valley math students! For more fun ways to learn and practice math, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park. Start off your new year with a boost in your math skills!

Crepes in Palo Alto

One of the most delicious spreads to put on food is Nutella… and Crepevine in Palo Alto has a whole menu with this wonderful creation spread on thin pancakes. Crepes are a good food for breakfast, lunch or dinner! One of the most popular crepes at Crepevine is the Stanford Crepe (named after Stanford University in Palo Alto), filled with nutella, strawberries, and bananas and topped with whipped cream and vanilla bean ice cream!

Crepes were invented in France, but have become beloved all over the world! There are also savory crepes, which are just as yummy, filled with cheese and vegetables. Crepevine is the perfect place to take your children to brunch after a session at Mathnasium!

While eating at Crepevine, feel free to ask your children these questions to incoorperate math into the meal!

1) If a sweet crepe costs $6.25 and a savory crepe costs $8.50, how much do 5 sweet crepes and 3 savory crepes cost?

2) The wait for a table at Crepevine on a busy Sunday morning is around 28 minutes. If it is 10:03am right now, what time will your family be seated?

3) The perfect temperature to cook crepes is at 81 degrees Farenheit. The stove heats up at 1 degree/2.5 minutes. If the stove is 74 degrees right now, how long will it take till the stove is at the proper temperature to cook the crepe?

Enjoy the meal, Palo Alto! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

Ice Skating in Palo Alto

As the temperature begins to cool, it is time to get into the winter spirit! Although we don’t get snow or super cold weather, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy things like ice skating! Just down the street, on Middlefield, is ice skating in Palo Alto.

The Winter Lodge has been open since 1956 and is the only permanent outdoor rink west of the Sierra Mountains. We are really lucky to have it right in our backyards, only a few minutes from Mathnasium right here in Palo Alto! It is a great place for winter parties, ice skating lessons and just enjoying some fun winter activities.

While skating, ask your children these questions to incoorperate math into a fun day on ice!

1) If it is 79 degrees outside, how much must the temperature be lowered to keep the ice frozen?

2) If 3 people need 16 square feet to skate and the rink is 800 square feet, how many people can fit on the rink?

3) Private lessons at the rink cost $200 for 8 weeks. If you have a coupon that gives you a discount of 30% of the lessons, how much do the lessons now cost?

Enjoy the holiday season, Palo Alto! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

Fall in Menlo Park

We are well into fall, here in Menlo Park! The leaves have changed their colors and have begun to decorate our streets. One of the most fun things to do when there are a lot of crunchy, colorful leaves in your backyard is to rake them all up (with the help of you kids, of course) and jump in them!

Jumping in the leaves is the perfect activity on a cool Sunday morning; not only is it a blast, but the yard will also be cleaned.

While having fun in the leaves with your kids, feel free to ask them these questions to incorperate math into their day.

1) If there are 100 leaves in one pound, and you count 425 leaves, approximately how many pounds of leaves do you have?

2) In a pile, if there is a ratio of 2 red leaves to 3 yellow leaves to 1 orange leaves, what is the probability you pick a red leaf?

3) It takes 1 person 2 hours to rake all the leaves in the backyard in Menlo Park. If there are 4 people raking the leaves, how long with it take?

Have fun in fall, Menlo Park! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

Thanksgiving in Palo Alto

With Thanksgiving only a month away, it is time to start thinking about what you might want to make with you children for the holidays, Palo Alto! You can choose to make pies, or cranberry sauce or stuffings or even a turkey. Another fun activity for Thanksgiving is to make hand turkeys and decorate them to the hang on the fridge.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family, and while you are cooking and relaxing with your children, you can ask them these math questions!

1) If the turkey takes 2.25 hours too cook at 400 degrees, and you start cooking at 3:10pm, what time will the turkey be done?

2) There are 2 pies from Mayfield Bakery in Palo Alto, one pumpkin and one apple. The apple pie is cut in 5 pieces, while the pumpkin pie is only cut in 3 pieces. Which pie slice should you have if you want the most pie?

3) There are 50 people coming to your house to celebrate Thanksgiving. If one batch of gravy serves 7 people, what is the least number of batches you have to make in order for there to be gravy for everyone.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your children by cooking and doing math in Palo Alto! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

Menlo Park Farmers Market

Every Sunday, Menlo Park has a wonderful farmers market from 9am-1pm. This is a great place to take your children after a session at Mathnasium! The market is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables that can add freshness to your Sunday evening dinner.

It is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the wonderful fall weather, even though it is still a bit hot in Menlo Park!




While at the farmers market, ask your child these questions to include a little more math in their day!

1) If peaches cost $2.99 per pound and you buy 3 pounds, how much money do you spend?

2) There are 20 cherries in one pound. If you buy 2.5 pounds of cherries, how many cherries will you have?

3) If a watermelon weigh 5 times as much as an orange, and an orange weighs 3 ounces, how much does the watermelon weigh?

The Menlo Park Farmers Market is the perfect place to go on a Sunday after Mathnasium, as it is only 5 minutes away. For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park. Hope you are enjoying the fall, Menlo Park!

49ers Game near Palo Alto

Football season has started, and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with the family is at a 49ers game, at the new Levi Stadium! Levi Stadium is only 13 miles away from Palo Alto. At the game, not only can you watch football, but you can explore the myraid of food options, which includes curry, pizza, hotdogs, and even crepes!

Levi Stadium just opened just last summer, so everything is brand new, but the Fourty Niners have been around for a much longer time. The Niners were one of the first big West Coast teams and have won the Super Bowl 5 times! Levi Stadium will actually be hosting the 2016 Super Bowl, and we can only hope that the 49ers will play in that game.

While at the game, it could be fun to incorperate math into the day. Feel free to ask your child these questions while watching the action:

1) If Colin Kaepernick wants to throw a touchdown, and he is at the 35 yard line, how far does the ball have to go?

2) If the score is 21-13, with the Niners winning of course, how many touchdowns and field goals does the opposing team need to be in the lead (the least number)?

3) If kickoff is at 5:05pm and the game is supposed to be 3.5 hours, what time should the game end if everything runs smoothly?

A 49ers game is the perfect family outing, and it can include math, Palo Alto! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

Nealon Park in Menlo Park

With school in full swing, it is important to get outside the house and get some fresh air! A great place to go to take a break from homework is Nealon Park in Menlo Park, which is less than 5 minutes away from Mathnasium. Nealon Park has a great playground structure, a wonderful lawn area and is the perfect place to bring your children for a nice afternoon outing.

Nealon Park is also dog friendly and can be a fun place to picnic on the weekends. It also has tennis courts and a softball field for any games that you want to play with your family!

Although this park is a great place to take your children’s minds off of homework and school, math should always be involved in the activity! Ask you children these questions to incoorperate math into this fun outing:

1) If you leave your house in Menlo Park at 5:35pm to go to Nealon Park, and only want to spend 1.25 hours there, what time should you leave?

2) There are 4 dogs, 2 cats and 1 bird in the park. How many legs do all of these animals have together?

3) If you need at least 8 people for each team in softball, and you have 35 people, what is the biggest number of teams you can make?

Nealon Park in Menlo Park is the perfect place for any occasion; it would even be a great place to bring your kids after a session at Mathnasium!

Back to School Math Palo Alto

We’re well into the school year now, here at the Palo Alto Unified School District. While many of us are sad that summer has come to end, we’re all excited to learn new things in the new school year! Palo Alto students, try these back-to-school themed math problems!

1. Jamie’s math class assigns 30 minutes of homework on Monday, 23 minutes on Tuesday, 47 minutes on Wednesday, 1 hour 12 minutes on Thursday, and 12 minutes on Friday! How many minutes of math homework does his class assign each day on average?

2. Rosalyn takes 7 classes (58 minutes each), with 6 passing periods (8 minutes). Breaks are 1 hour 15 minutes total. If school starts at 8:15am, what time is school out?

3. Maja’s school offers 3 world languages (French, Spanish, Chinese), 3 sciences (biology, physics, chemistry), and 4 electives (theatre, art, music, and woodshop). How many combinations of languages, sciences, and electives are possible?

4. Natalie’s bus-stop is 2.3 miles from school. If her schoolbus travels at an average speed of 20mph, what time should she be at her bus-stop each day? (Assume the bus always arrives at school 5 minutes early, and school starts at 8am).

5. In Rocco’s algebra class, final grades are calculated with 30% homework, 70% test scores. If Rocco has an 85% average on his homework assignments, and a 92% test average, what is his final grade in the class?

We hope that these math problems were enjoyable for you! Have an awesome year, Palo Alto math students!

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Love and Math in Menlo Park Schools

Many math students in the Palo Alto and Menlo Park school system dread the unit of probability, but many would be surprised about math’s role in emotion, specifically love!

According to British mathematician Hannah Fry, mathematics has proven to hold many useful applications in finding love, most notably in the field of probability. Fry discusses the use of probability in online dating sites, such as OkCupid, which was created by mathematicians! Also, Fry introduces the concept of optimal stopping theory to predict marriage compatibility. According to this theory, considering marriage only after a certain number of dates can actually enhance the probability of a successful marriage! Finally, Fry teaches us a math equation that mathematicians can use to predict a couple’s probability of divorce, using data from a wide pool of observations.

Of course, while your typical Palo Alto and Menlo Park schools teaches probability, many students have no idea how these concepts can be applied! Tell your Palo Alto/Menlo Park student to be creative in their studies and try to seek out possible mathematical correlations, such as love.

Menlo Park

Love, Math, Menlo Park

To read more about the topic and to share with your Palo Alto/Menlo Park student, visit

For more fun ways to apply math, visit