Lessons in Units

CCSS Units
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Ballot Boxing

How do the rules of an election affect who wins? Students calculate (as a percent) how much of the electoral and popular vote different presidential candidates have received, and add with integers to explore elections under possible alternative voting systems.

Topic: Number System (NS), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP), Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (REI)
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As the World Turns (MS)

How fast is the Earth spinning? Students use unit rates to find the speed at which the planet rotates along the Equator, Tropic of Cancer, and Arctic Circle.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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As the World Turns (HS)

How fast is the Earth spinning? Students use rates, arc length, and trigonometric ratios to determine how fast the planet is spinning at different latitudes.

Topic: Circles (C), Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry (SRT)
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51-Foot Ladder

How high can a ladder safely reach? Students combine the federal guideline for ladder safety with the Pythagorean Theorem (middle school) or trigonometric ratios (high school) to explore how high you can really climb.

Topic: Geometry (G), Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry (SRT)
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Tip Jar

How should we tip in a restaurant? Students use mental math, percents, and proportional reasoning to compare different approaches to tipping.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Domino Effect

How much does Domino's charge for pizza? Students use linear functions — slope, y-intercept, and equations — to explore how much the famous pizzas really cost.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Functions (F)
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Big Foot Conspiracy

Should people with small feet pay less for shoes? Students apply unit rates to calculate the cost per ounce for different sizes of Nike shoes, and use proportions to find out what would happen if Nike charged by weight.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Been Caught Stealing

How hard is it to steal second base in baseball? Students use the Pythagorean Theorem and proportions to determine whether a runner will successfully beat the catcher's throw.

Topic: Geometry (G), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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AppleCare a Day

Should you ever buy an extended warranty? Students use percents and expected value to determine whether product warranties are a good deal.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP), Statistics and Probability (SP)
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Wheel of Fortune

Is Wheel of Fortune rigged? Students use percents and probabilities to compare theoretical versus experimental probabilities, and explore whether the show is legit, or whether there might be something shady going on!

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP), Statistics and Probability (SP)
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Licensed to Ill

Who should buy health insurance? Students use percents and expected value to explore the mathematics of health insurance from a variety of perspectives.

Topic: Number System (NS), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP), Statistics and Probability (SP)
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Viewmongous

When you buy a bigger TV, how much more do you really get? Students use the Pythagorean Theorem and proportional reasoning to investigate the relationship between the diagonal length, aspect ratio, and screen area of a TV.

Topic: Geometry (G), Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry (SRT)
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Time of Your Life

How much of your life do you spend doing different activities? Students use proportional reasoning and unit rates to calculate how much of their total lifespan they can expect to spend sleeping, eating, and working...and discuss how they'd like to spend the time that's left over.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Text Me Later

How dangerous is texting and driving? Students use proportional reasoning to determine how far a car travels in the time it takes to send a message, and explore the consequences of distracted driving.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP), Circles (C)
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Spin City

What is the likelihood of winning at roulette? Students use probabilities and odds to examine the betting and gameplay of roulette, including where the infamous house edge comes from.

Topic: