Lessons in Units

CCSS Units
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Ice Cubed

What size ice cubes should you put in your drink? Students use surface area, volume, and rates to explore the relationship between the size of ice cubes and how good they are at doing their job: chilling.

Topic: Geometry (G), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Flicks

Which movie rental service should you choose? Students develop a system of linear equations to compare Redbox, AppleTV, and Netflix, and determine which is the best plan for them.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Functions (F)
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Family Tree

How many ancestors do you have as you go back in time? Students use exponential growth to see how many people they're related to throughout human history.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE)
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Family Plan

How much should you pay for a shared wireless plan? Students use proportional reasoning to predict whether a family will go over their minutes, messages, or megabytes, and decide how much each person should pay.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Number System (NS), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Golden Gatekeepers

Did UC Berkeley discriminate against women? Students use frequency tables, conditional probability, and Simpson's Paradox to explore the (un?)fairness of college admissions.

Topic: Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability (CP), Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID)
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My Fellow Americans

Have presidential speeches gotten dumber? Students evaluate the Flesch-Kincaid formula with inputs from three different presidents and analyze the formula to predict how specific changes to a speech will impact its score.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Number System (NS)
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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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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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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)