Lessons in Units

CCSS Units
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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 text. Students discuss the dangers of distracted driving and generate strategies for helping drivers and passengers stay safe.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)

Pyramid of Sleaza

How can you make money in a pyramid scheme? Students learn about how pyramid schemes work (and how they fail), and use geometric sequences to model the exponential growth of a pyramid scheme over time.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models (LE), Seeing Structure in Expressions (SSE)

Not So Fast

How should speeding tickets be calculated? Students use linear equations to explore how police officers determine speeding fines...and whether tickets are calculated fairly.

Topic: Functions (F)

New Twenty

How does life expectancy affect how you live your life? Students use proportions to determine what life expectancy must have been in the past in order for the phrase "30 is the new 20" to be accurate, and explore how life might change as life expectancy changes.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Leonardo Numbers

Are there numbers hidden in nature? Students use the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio to uncover the mathematical mysteries of the universe.

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


What's a healthy weight? Students evaluate the Body Mass Index (BMI) formula for several celebrities, and discuss whether BMI is always a good measure of health.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE)
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Frame Rate

How do filmmakers create slow-motion and time-lapse videos? Students combine a camera's frame rate, a video player's frame rate, and proportional reasoning to explore movie magic.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Carpe Donut

How much should people pay for donuts? Students use linear, rational, and piecewise functions to describe the total and average costs of an order at Carpe Donut.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Interpreting Functions (IF)

Cheese That Goes Crunch

Which is better: crunchy or puffy Cheetos? Students calculate the surface area : volume ratio for each snack to determine which one tastes cheesier.

Topic: Geometric Measurement and Dimension (GMD), Geometry (G), Modeling with Geometry (MG)

Calories In, Calories Out

How many calories does a body burn? Students interpret and apply the formula for resting metabolic rate (RMR) in order to learn about how calories consumed from food, calories burned from exercise, and calories burned automatically contribute to a body's weight.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Basketball IQ

In basketball, which shot should you take? Students use probability and expected value to determine how much 3-point and 2-point shots are really "worth" to different NBA players.

Topic: Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability (CP)

Are We Alone?

What are the chances that we'll communicate with aliens? Students use fraction multiplication to explore the Drake Equation, the formula astronomers use to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations with whom we might communicate.

Topic: Number and Operations -- Fractions (NF)
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New-Tritional Info

Should fast food restaurants rewrite their menus in terms of exercise? Students write and evaluate expressions to determine how long it takes to burn off foods from McDonald’s and debate the pros and cons of including this information on fast food menus.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP), Expressions and Equations (EE)