Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsHow should sports teams spend their money to win more games? Students look at data for four major pro sports leagues to find out whether it's possible to buy wins.

How does two people's love for one another change over time? Students investigate the effect of coefficients on recursive functions, and explore whether or not romance can be modeled with mathematics.

How 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 much confidence should you place in online ratings? Students use ratios and averages to explore the different ways products can be rated online.

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.

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 the nation.

What's the ideal size for a soda can? Students use the formulas for surface area and volume of a cylinder to design different cans, calculate their cost of production, and find the can that uses the least material to contain a standard 12 ounces of liquid.

What's an acceptable dating range? Students use linear equations and linear inequalities to examine the May-December romance, and ask whether the *Half Plus Seven* rule of thumb is a good one.

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.