Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsShould the U.S. get rid of the penny? Students operate with decimals to calculate the total costs to produce different U.S. coins. Students debate eliminating the penny and then consider a world with no physical money at all.

How much should you bid in an auction? Students create polynomial functions to model the expected value of a given bid and determine the optimal amount someone should bid in any auction.

Should airlines overbook their flights? Students use compound probability and expected value to determine the optimal number of tickets an airline should sell and discuss whether airlines should be allowed to overbook their flights.

How should pro sports teams spend their money? Students use linear regressions and r-squared values to analyze data from professional sports leagues, evaluate how various factors correlate with wins, and debate whether a higher payroll is good business strategy.

Is higher education a good investment? Students write and solve systems of linear equations to determine how long it would take to pay off various degrees and discuss the pros and cons of different educational paths.

How dangerous are heat and humidity? Students use polynomial functions to explore the heat index and discuss the life-and-death consequences that cities around the world will face in the coming years.

How big is the White House? Students build scale models of the White House, compare scaling in one vs. two vs. three dimensions and design their ideal version of the president’s house.

How much should you trust online ratings? Students use mean, median, and mode to analyze the trustworthiness of 5-star ratings system and suggest ways to make them more reliable.

What does a fair wealth distribution look like? Students use mean, median, histograms, and box-and-whisker plots to compare how wealth is distributed in different countries and debate the pros and cons of their ideal distribution.

How does the what we see affect our happiness? Students explore the concept of the jen ratio – the ratio of positive to negative observations in our daily lives – and use it to discuss how the content we consume and the things we observe influence our experience of the world.

Should you ever order a personal-sized pizza from Pizza Hut? Students calculate circle areas to compare the unit costs of different sized pizzas, find the percent of pizza that is tasty inside vs. crust, and debate whether it’s ever a good idea to order a personal-sized pizza from Pizza Hut.

Should people with small feet pay less for shoes? Students use unit rates to calculate how much different-sized shoes cost per ounce and debate the fairest way for manufacturers to charge for their shoes.

How long does it take to donate to Locks of Love? Students write and solve linear equations to determine how long it would take to donate a wig’s worth of hair and discuss ways they can support peers with conditions like Leukemia and alopecia.

How has Earth’s temperature changed over time? Students use positive and negative integers to compare recorded monthly temperatures to their long-term averages and consider actions they can take to take care of the planet.

What’s the fairest way to tip at a restaurant? Students use percents to calculate tips for different restaurant bills and debate the best ways to compensate waiters and waitresses.