Lessons in Units

CCSS Units

Going Once, Going Twice

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.

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

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.

Topic: Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability (CP), Creating Equations (CED), Using Probability to Make Decisions (MD)

Win At Any Cost

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.

Topic: Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID)
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Opportunities' Cost

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.

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

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.

Topic: Interpreting Functions (IF)

1600 Pennsylvania

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.

Topic: Geometry (G)
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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.

Topic: Statistics and Probability (SP)
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Wealth of Nations

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.

Topic: Statistics and Probability (SP)


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.

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Pizza Pi

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.

Topic: Geometry (G)
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Big Foot Conspiracy

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.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

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.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE)

Temp Work

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.

Topic: Number System (NS)
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Tip Jar

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.

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Why do different jobs pay so differently? Students use unit rates to compare how much different professions make per year/day/hour and discuss ways to possibly equate compensation with social contribution.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)