It Figures

PBS (ended 1983)


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • Problem Solving: Using a Guide
      Eva relates to her family the time she and a friend were climbing a cliff. When her friend fell and got hurt, he and Eva spelled out a few decisions they could make. When one was tried out and failed, Eva tried another—and succeeded. This process, labeled "Hey Wait!, Think, See, So?" had first been exposed on ThinkAbout, an earlier AIT series. It's up to Andy to exercise his options when, in preparation for a surprise birthday party, he gets locked out of the house.moreless
    • Problem Solving: Many Ways to Go
      Kaylin and Chenetta run a dog-watching business. But the job is threatened to halt unless the two can manage their time and coordinate schedules more effectively. Kaylin and Chenetta take different approaches to come up with a solution.
    • Problem Solving: Keep On Trying
      Norm's brother proves his resilience at solving problems such as improving his soccer game and rearranging his room.
    • Changing Scale on a Graph
      Neither Kaylin nor Chenetta can do a head stand. To get into shape for it, their gym instructor givees them an exercise. Kaylin and Chenetta do sit-ups for several days and graph their progress. All seems fine, but Kaylin is convinced she's not keeping pace with Chenetta.
    • Using Probability
      Using Probability
      Episode 24
      The Pirates get a lecture on probability when one of them tries to use a two-headed coin. But that coin is part of a contest. A pizza stand is giving away sixty vacations to Florida. All one has to do is spell out PIZZA PARADISE. With a good many duplicate coins, Andy turns some of them in for the pizza company's other probability contest.moreless
    • Comparing Decimals
      Comparing Decimals
      Episode 23
      Ned is swimming head-to-head with Reggie for the right to go to a regional swim meet. Ned feels he has lost because his time was 42.43 seconds and Reggie's was 42.8 seconds. It's up to George to clarify the two decimal numbers.
    • Estimating When Dividing
      Harvest time means dividing the vegetables Houston, Sally and the others had planted and tended to all spring and summer. The biggest crop is all that squash. When left to divide all the squash among them, Houston doesn't have an estimate on what the correct answer will be. Neither does Sally, as things turn out.moreless
    • Making Sense of a Big Number
      The local school is holding a contest to see who can collect the most bottle caps. Zeke brags that he will collect a hundred thousand bottle caps. Everyone vetoes the idea, since Zeke has no concept of that large a number. He'll learn, once those shoe boxes with five hundred bottle caps each, pile up.moreless
    • Finding Area by Covering
      The Vulcans' clubhouse floor is causing problems. Every time anyone moves, one of the floppy floor tiles gives out. Upon hearing that someone will cut them a rug for their clubhouse floor the Vulcans try to figure out the area of the floor. At first, they put any old objects on the floor and try to rearrange them at the store. Then they hit upon square units.moreless
    • Finding Equivalent Fractions
      Roger is unimpressed with Cliff's interest in fractions. But when both agree to split two pizzas, Cliff tells Roger what fractions are equivalent.
    • Problem Solving—Recognizing Necessary Information
      Mrs. Murphy sends four of her students on a treasure hunt. She informs them to locate the bits of information that help them, rather than slow them down. If the students can find all the clues in 20 minutes, they'll get the treasure.
    • Understanding Remainders
      Mary has trouble with her division problems. She learns that remainders are not to be taken lightly. It all depends on the situation.
    • Using Bar Graphs
      Using Bar Graphs
      Episode 16
      Linda is recovering from a bicycle accident. Her friends, mindful that someone else doesn't get hurt the same way, have prepared a bar graph in their proposal to establish a crosswalk.
    • Predicting Your Change
      The Vulcans are collecting dues toward another purchase. After lunch at a diner, George intends to loan 20¢ so Kevin can pay his dues. But George has only 19¢ in change. George had predicted his change beforehand, so he knows to go back to the diner and get the right coinage.moreless
    • Relating Fractions and Decimals
      In the grand tradition of the Fourth Street Regulars in South Carolina and the Vulcans in New Jersey, some kids in Baltimore's Inner Harbor have formed a group called the Pirates. David wants to join them, but he'll have to undergo an initiation. The notes David finds in his initiation help teach him how decimals can be converted to fractions.moreless
    • Using Multiplication and Addition
      The Fourth Street Regulars, first seen in the second episode, hold a candy sale. In tabulating their sales, they discover multiplication can sometimes be used when the situation calls for addition.
    • Problem Solving—Making a Table
      George is a professional swimmer in the eyes of youngsters Ned and Jessica. When the school holds swim meets to see who will join the team, both Ned and Jessica need to keep track of how much they swim each day. George's answer: make a table.
    • Using Division
      Using Division
      Episode 11
      Cliff, Roger and their friends are organizing a garage sale. Knowing about division comes in handy at the right times.
    • Using Mental Computation
      Naima and Kevin are members of the Vulcans, a kids' club saving money to buy artifacts for their clubhouse. Both Kevin and Naima get pressed into quick addition, and learn there are ways to quickly add two large numbers and get an exact answer.
    • Looking at Objects from Different Positions
      After a police chase, Kaylin informs Chenetta that a folder was dropped on the street next to a square object. They go to the street level, but can't find the square. Only from Kaylin's apartment does Chenetta discover how an object appears to change shape, depending on your point of view. This is extremelt inportant for the police, who are trying to recover a museum artifact.moreless
    • Problem Solving—Drawing a Picture
      Which of the five schoolkids will be represented at a city basketball showdown? Naima and Ingrid are not happy with a four-game or five-game format of one-on-ones, so they devise a fairer system of ten games.
    • Using Fractions
      Using Fractions
      Episode 7
      At a summer camp in Illinois, Cliff and his three roommates have to split up their space. They use a string (in lieu of a ruler) to divide the closet, the drawers, and the top of a dresser. When everyone goes camping, one of them brings the string along, just in case.moreless
    • Deciding When to Use Multiplication
      Houston has difficulties with his after-school job at the rabbitry. When his brother tells him to use multiplication at certain times to deal with equal groups, Houston seems to understand. The real problem comes when Houston doesn't deal with the unequal groups correctly.
    • Understanding Place Value
      In making a batch of cookies, Kaylin feels she doesn't have enough of one ingredient. She multiplies everything in the recipe by ten, and ends up with 360 cookies. Perhaps Kaylin and her friend can sell these cookies at the steps of their school. When the time comes to photocopy their print ad, Kaylin unknowingly increases the print volume from 12 copies to about 100. Now she knows that putting any digit to the right of a number, increases the value of the whole number (by at least ten).moreless
    • Using Estimation
      Using Estimation
      Episode 4
      Houston wishes to enter his rabbit at the local fair. But can he and his brother attend the fair, given the chores they have to finish? Both of them budget their time and, with their chores finished, can attend the fair. Once at the fair, Houston rations his money, buying only an elephant ear and a large root beer before the judging starts. He hopes "Harvey," his rabbit, can win one award, but he winds up with another.moreless
    • Problem Solving—Acting It Out
      A group of intermediate school kids have been named to a committee that has spelled out rules for a relay race. It seems that, at face value, no one can win the race by following the rules. When the kids practice the race with cricket mallets, they discover the loophole that will allow one of them to win the race.moreless
    • Deciding How Close to Measure
      A beautiful day in the South Carolina woods is the perfect backdrop for a treehouse. To build it, though, a group of kids had to undergo trial-and-error methods of measurement. Even when they used a ruler, they could still get things wrong, such as spacing the rungs on their ladder.
    • Deciding When to Use Subtraction
      It's October, Houston Tally, a boy living in a New Jersey farm town, wants a rabbit he calls "Harvey." To win the rabbit, he has to collect more aluminum cans than anyone else in his class. Houston knows he doesn't have enough cans yet, but he gets confused with the question, "How many more cans?" His brother has to teach him that "more" is actually a key word that tells one to subtract, not add.moreless