Lessons in Units

CCSS Units
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Triplets of Cellville

How do cell phone towers identify your location? Students describe geometrically the location information provided by a cell phone tower, explain why loci from at least three towers are required to pinpoint a customer's location, and consider the tradeoff between coverage and "locatability" when a phone company chooses a new tower location.

Topic: Congruence (CO), Modeling with Geometry (MG)
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Three Shots

In basketball, should you ever foul at the buzzer? Students use probabilities to determine when the defense should foul...and when they should not.

Topic: Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability (CP)
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Letterboxing

How do aspect ratios affect what you see on TV? Students use ratios to explore why the image doesn't always fit on the screen, and examine how letterboxing might affect their favorite movies.

Topic: Geometry (G), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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PRISN

What is the chance that PRISM ensnares an innocent person? Students use conditional probabilities to examine some of the implications of a program like PRISM. Specifically, if someone has been identified as a threat, what’s the probability that person actually is a threat?

Topic: Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability (CP)
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Face Value

How symmetrical are faces? Students apply their understanding of line reflections to develop a metric for facial symmetry.

Topic: Congruence (CO)
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In the Zone

How hard should you exercise? Students write and graph an equation for maximum heart rate in terms of age, and then calculate ideal heart rate zones for different types of workouts.

Topic: Functions (F)
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Happy Meal

How much should you spend to get all the toys? Students use probability and expected value to figure out how many Happy Meals they should plan on buying if they want to collect all the toys in a series.

Topic: Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID), Making Inferences and Justifying Conclusions (IC), Statistics and Probability (SP), Using Probability to Make Decisions (MD)
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Oh, Craps!

What is the likelihood of winning at craps? Students learn the rules of the popular casino game, and use probabilities to determine how likely players are to win big (or go broke).

Topic: Congruence (CO), Modeling with Geometry (MG)
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XBOX Xponential

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.

Topic: Building Functions (BF), Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID), Interpreting Functions (IF), Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models (LE)
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Go Big, Papa?

Are 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!

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Ice Cubed

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.

Topic: Geometry (G), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Flicks

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.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Functions (F)
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Family Tree

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.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE)
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Family Plan

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.

Topic: Expressions and Equations (EE), Number System (NS), Ratios and Proportional Relationships (RP)
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Golden Gatekeepers

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

Topic: Conditional Probability and the Rules of Probability (CP), Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data (ID)