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Lessons in Units

CCSS Units
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Spin City

What’s the best way to play roulette? Students use probabilities and odds to analyze roulette payouts and debate the optimal strategy for winning the game (including not playing at all).

Topic: Using Probability to Make Decisions (MD)

Grading Scales of Justice

How should students be graded? Students use percent change to evaluate how changes to a grading policy would affect students and discuss the fairest way to balance mastery with effort.

Topic: Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)


How much does age matter in a relationship? Students use a system of linear inequalities to explore the popular dating rule-of-thumb, ‘half plus seven’, and debate how important age -- and other factors -- are in healthy relationships.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Creating Equations (CED), Interpreting Functions (IF), Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (REI)
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What’s the ideal size of a soda can? Students create rational functions to explore the relationship between volume, surface area, and cost to determine the optimal size of a soda can.

Topic: Creating Equations (CED), Geometric Measurement and Dimension (GMD), Interpreting Functions (IF)
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Ad Vantage

How much of what we see is advertising? Students decompose irregular polygons into triangles and rectangles, find their areas to estimate the fraction of a scene that’s advertising, and discuss the pros and cons of living in an ad-free world.

Topic: Geometry (G)
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Billions & Billions

How has the human population changed over time? Students develop exponential models to analyze human population growth and explore the impact this growth will have in areas around the world.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Interpreting Functions (IF), Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models (LE)
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Biggest Loser (Classic)

How should the winner of The Biggest Loser be chosen? Students compare pounds lost vs. percent lost, and analyze historical data to determine which method produces the fairest game.

Topic: Quantities (Q), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP), Statistics and Probability (SP)
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Fall of Javert

Could Inspector Javert have survived the fall? Students use quadratic models to determine how high the bridge was in Les Misérables, and explore the maximum height from which someone can safely jump.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Creating Equations (CED), Interpreting Functions (IF)

Key Board

How do you create simple video games? Students apply geometric transformations to build (and play) their own games.

Topic: Congruence (CO), Geometry (G)
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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)

Domino Effect

How much is Domino’s really charging for pizza? Students use slope, y-intercept, and linear equations to explore the costs of different-sized pizzas at Domino’s and debate whether the pizza chain should be more transparent in its pricing.

Topic: Functions (F)
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Square Dancing

What secrets are hidden in squares? Students use concrete models to explore square numbers and square roots and confront the philosophical and moral questions posed by the existence of irrational numbers.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Number System (NS)
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Layer Strands On Me

How do we view and create objects in 3D? Using MRI images, students study the connection between objects and their cross sections to understand 3D printing, its benefits, and its risks.

Topic: Geometry (G)
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By Design

Why do manmade objects look the way they do? Students analyze the symmetry of objects, use geometric reflections to construct symmetrical images of their own, and debate the nature of beauty and perfection.

Topic: Geometry (G)
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Watch Your Step

What should teacher salaries be based on? Students will use and compare linear functions to analyze how teacher pay is currently determined, and decide whether they would give merit-based pay an A+ or failing marks.

Topic: Functions (F)