Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsHow much should theaters charge for movie tickets? Students apply operations on whole numbers to figure out how much money theaters could make by charging different ticket prices, and come up with strategies theaters might use to earn more from people willing to pay more.

How many people should you date before you settle down? Students use modeling with probability distributions to come up with a rule to try to maximize their relationship happiness.

How has the length of popular movies changed over time? Students use scatterplots to examine linear and nonlinear patterns in data and make predictions about the future.

What’s the best strategy for creating a March Madness bracket? Students use probability to discover that it’s basically impossible to correctly predict every game in the tournament. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop people from trying.

How can we improve our calendar? Students examine some other ways to keep track of dates, and use number sense and function concepts to convert between different calendars.

Can you predict a country's Winter Olympic performance? Students analyze scatterplots and correlation coefficients to pick out the best predictive model for Olympic success.

How fast does hair grow? Students analyze a scatterplot, create a line of best fit, and interpret slope as the rate of hair growth over time.

What are some ways to encrypt secret messages? Students explore function concepts using ciphers to encrypt messages both graphically and algebraically; they try to decrypt some messages too. In the end, they’ll learn what makes for a useful cipher, and what makes a cipher impossible to decode.

How do you determine the best scorer in basketball? Students compare LeBron James and Tyson Chandler in various ways, from total points, to points per game/minute, to a new measure called *net points* in order to decide.

Should stores open on Thanksgiving Day? Students use game theory, payoff matrices, and the famous Prisoner's Dilemma to explore why stores keep opening earlier and earlier. And earlier.

How much should vowels cost on *Wheel of Fortune*? Students use ratios and percents to explore what would happen if *Wheel of Fortune* charged prices for vowels based on how often they come up.

Why do certain pairs of notes sound better than others? Students use ratios and fraction division to explore what makes two notes sound good or bad when played together.

How far away from the TV should you sit? Students use right triangle trigonometry and a rational function to explore the percent of your visual field that is occupied by the area of a television.

How much does it cost to drive at different speeds? Students use unit rates and proportions to explore how a car's fuel economy changes as it drives faster and faster.

How much do you really pay when you use a credit card? Students develop an exponential growth model to determine how much an item really ends up costing when purchased on credit.