Thanks for the Paper, Target! Here’s a Video Story Problem!

Last week my school district received a very large donation of spiral bound notebooks from the Target Corporation. 5 full palettes, stuffed with lined paper notebooks, showed up at the loading docks, and news was quickly spread through the district of it’s availability. Not to underestimate the power of teachers in need of school supplies, I ran down to the loading area to grab some footage of the paper before it had been sent off to all the buildings.

The result was a rather simplistic, almost math “bookish” type story problem, although I did leave out any formula or other strategy that might help students. I simply stated the question “How many sheets of paper are there here”, and then gave them any information they may or may not need in order to solve the problem. You can view the multiplying paper video story problem below, or on Vimeo if you’d like.

I figured this could be used as a good “warm up” at the start of the school day or class. Students working with multiplication or building their own strategies for tackling a problem and given a heap of data might enjoy this. Like I said, it’s not pretty, and feels like a typical story problem from a text book, just a little warmed over, but I was genuinely curious about how many sheets of paper were stacked on those palettes, and I thought it was pretty gosh darn awesome of Target to donate it to our school!


  1. Hey, Ben! I wasn’t able to catch the video story problems today at #EdCampGR. 🙁 Do you create your own videos? If so, how many have you created so far? Thanks, and great site!! 😀

    1. I do create my own videos, Angela! Typically I use the camera on my phone to shoot the “on the spot” videos, but if I have the opportunity, I’ll use either a small “pocket” tripod or a collapsible monopod with a Kodak Play Touch camera, since Flipcams are no longer being made. I use iMovie to assemble text and titles, but I’ve had students use Windows Movie Maker and the webcam on their laptops, and that works equally well.

      While I’ve probably made around 40 videos myself, there are currently over 130 video story problems on our Vimeo channel, with most of the videos being made by students.

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