Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsAre Papa John's specialty pizzas a good deal? Students evaluate expressions to compare the prices of specialty vs. build-your-own pizzas, and determine how much they're saving...or losing!

What size ice cubes should you put in your drink? Students use surface area, volume, and rates to explore the relationship between the size of ice cubes and how good they are at doing their job: chilling.

Which movie rental service should you choose? Students develop a system of linear equations to compare Redbox, AppleTV, and Netflix, and determine which is the best plan for them.

How many ancestors do you have as you go back in time? Students use exponential growth to see how many people they're related to throughout human history.

How much should you pay for a shared wireless plan? Students use proportional reasoning to predict whether a family will go over their minutes, messages, or megabytes, and decide how much each person should pay.

Did UC Berkeley discriminate against women? Students use frequency tables, conditional probability, and Simpson's Paradox to explore the (un?)fairness of college admissions.

How do the rules of an election affect who wins? Students calculate (as a percent) how much of the electoral and popular vote different presidential candidates have received, and add with integers to explore elections under possible alternative voting systems.

How fast is the Earth spinning? Students use rates, arc length, and trigonometric ratios to determine how fast the planet is spinning at different latitudes.

How high can a ladder safely reach? Students combine the federal guideline for ladder safety with the Pythagorean Theorem (middle school) or trigonometric ratios (high school) to explore how high you can really climb.

How hard is it to steal second base in baseball? Students use the Pythagorean Theorem and proportions to determine whether a runner will successfully beat the catcher's throw.

Should you ever buy an extended warranty? Students use percents and expected value to determine whether product warranties are a good deal.

Is *Wheel of Fortune* rigged? Students use percents and probabilities to compare theoretical versus experimental probabilities, and explore whether the show is legit, or whether there might be something shady going on!

Who should buy health insurance? Students use percents and expected value to explore the mathematics of health insurance from a variety of perspectives.

When you buy a bigger TV, how much more do you really get? Students use the Pythagorean Theorem and proportional reasoning to investigate the relationship between the diagonal length, aspect ratio, and screen area of a TV.

How much of your life do you spend doing different activities? Students use proportional reasoning and unit rates to calculate how much of their total lifespan they can expect to spend sleeping, eating, and working...and discuss how they'd like to spend the time that's left over.