Lessons in Units

CCSS Units
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Wage War

How much should companies pay their employees? Students graph and solve systems of linear equations in order to examine the effects of wage levels on labor and consumer markets, and they discuss the possible pros and cons of increasing the minimum wage.

Topic: Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models (LE), Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (REI)
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Joy to the World

What makes for happy countries? Students interpret lines of best fit and correlation coefficients to determine what types of policy changes are most likely to positively impact a country’s well-being.

Topic: Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID)
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Good Cop, Bad Cop

How should cities address excessive force by police? Students compare two distributions of complaints against police officers. They analyze the fraction of complaints that officers are responsible for and evaluate the effectiveness of policy proposals in each scenario.

Topic: Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID)
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Downside Up

Is there an upside to negative feelings? Students use integers to compare good and bad days and use absolute value to explore what happens when we reinterpret negative moments in a more positive light.

Topic: Number System (NS)
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Distributive Properties

Have income distributions in the U.S. improved over time? Students compare percentages of total income earned by different subgroups of the working population and decide whether or not the “American Dream” is equally achievable by all Americans.

Topic: Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID)
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Bookie Nights

What's the best way to bet on the Super Bowl? Students add and subtract positive and negative numbers to determine which bets have been the most effective and consider the best ways to win big on the big game.

Topic: Number System (NS)
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Crop and Trade

Which crops should farmers grow? Students use linear relationships and proportional reasoning to explore comparative advantage and the risks and benefits of trade.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE)
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Axle Roads

How do vehicles turn? In this lesson, students use the geometry of circles to understand how we get from point A to point B when the path isn’t a straight one.

Topic: Modeling with Geometry (MG)
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Prescripted

How should pharmaceutical companies decide what to develop? In this lesson, students use linear and quadratic functions to explore how much pharmaceutical companies expect to make from different drugs, and discuss ways to incentivize companies to develop medications that are more valuable to society.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Creating Equations (CED), Interpreting Functions (IF), Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models (LE)
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Compromised

How were free states and slave states represented in Congress? In this lesson, students use census data and fraction multiplication to explore the effects of the Three-Fifths Compromise on the balance of power between free and slave states in early America.

Topic: Number System (NS)
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Common Cents

How much is money worth? Students apply operations on rational and decimal numbers to calculate how much the U.S. Mint spends on different coins, and discuss whether we really need all these coins.

Topic: Number System (NS)
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The Sound of Silence

How do noise-canceling headphones work? In this lesson, students use transformations of trigonometric functions to explore how sound waves can interfere with one another, and how noise-canceling headphones use incoming sounds to figure out how to produce that sweet, sweet silence.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Interpreting Functions (IF)
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Grading Scales of Justice

How should grades be calculated? Students use averages and weighted means to examine some different grading schemes and decide what other factors ought to be considered when teachers assign grades.

Topic: Statistics and Probability (SP)
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Origin Stories

How can we compare similar items? Students plot points with positive and negative coordinates in order to compare items across two different attributes. They use the plots to decide which item is the “best” in different scenarios, and discuss whether or not negative numbers always represent the “opposite” of positive numbers.

Topic: Number System (NS)
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Transformers

What transformations do smartphones use? In this lesson, students identify and categorize the different transformations that occur when a user manipulates a smartphone screen. They also use on-screen coordinates to calculate the results of zooming within an application and to decide whether ponying up for a larger screen is worth it.

Topic: Geometry (G)