Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsWhat 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).

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.

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!

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.

Have presidential speeches gotten dumber? Students evaluate the Flesch-Kincaid formula with inputs from three different presidents and analyze the formula to predict how specific changes to a speech will impact its score.

How has the human population changed over time? Students build an exponential model for population growth, and use it to make predictions about the future of our planet.

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 unit rates to find the speed at which the planet rotates along the Equator, Tropic of Cancer, and Arctic Circle.

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