Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsHow is homelessness changing in the United States? Students write linear equations describe how the number of people experiencing homeless has changed over in different cities and use their equations to predict how those populations will grow in the future.

How is wealth distributed in the United States? Students use measures of center, five-number summaries, and box plots to examine different distributions while digging into one of the most important economic and political issues facing any nation.

How many different shoes can you design on NIKEiD? Students use the Fundamental Counting Principle to calculate how many color combinations are possible for the popular Nike Air Force 1 shoe, and then they explore the "paralysis-by-analysis" that can come from too much choice.

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.

Which size pizza is the best deal? Is it ever a good idea to buy the personal pan from Pizza Hut? Students use unit rates and percents, and the area of a circle to explore the math behind pizza bargains.

Should people with small feet pay less for shoes? Students apply unit rates to calculate the cost per ounce for different sizes of Nike shoes, and use proportions to find out what would happen if Nike charged by weight.

How have video game console speeds changed over time? Students write an exponential function based on the Atari 2600 and Moore's Law, and see whether the model was correct for subsequent video game consoles.

Why are so many Americans dying from opiate overdoses? Students use exponential decay and rational functions to understand why addicted patients seek more and stronger opioids to alleviate their pain.

How much Halloween candy should you eat? Students interpret graphs to compare the marginal enjoyment and total enjoyment of two siblings feasting on piles of Halloween candy and figure out how much pleasure you get (or don't) from eating more and more.

Do social networks like Facebook make us more connected? Students create a quadratic function to model the number of possible connections as a network grows, and consider the consequences of relying on Facebook for news and information.

How long does it take to burn off food from McDonald's? Students use unit rates and proportional reasoning to determine how long they'd have to exercise to burn off different McDonald's menu items.

How should we tip in a restaurant? Students use mental math, percents, and proportional reasoning to compare different approaches to tipping.

How much do different professionals earn in a year? Students use rates and ratio reasoning to compare how much a teacher, the President, and LeBron James earn...and to compare how much value the create.

How has the pace of technology changed over time? Students create timelines of major technological milestones and calculate the time between major events using absolute value and operations on integers.

How hard is it to pay off municipal fines? Students use linear equations and solve linear systems to examine what happens when people are unable to pay small municipal fines. They also discuss what can happen to the most financially vulnerable citizens when cities rely heavily on fines for revenue.