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Algebra

Light It Up

9-12

In this cooperative learning activity, students are presented with a real-world problem: Given a mirror and laser pointer, determine the position where one should stand so that a reflected light image will hit a designated target.

This investigation allows students to develop several rational functions that models three specific forms of a rational function. Students explore the relationship between the graph, the equation, and problem context.

1992
Geometry

Pinwheel

6-8, 9-12
Each student creates parallelograms from square sheets of paper and connects them to form an octagon. During the construction, students consider angle measures, segment lengths, and areas in terms of the original square. At the end of the lesson, the octagon is transformed into a pinwheel, and students discover a surprising result.
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Algebra

Vigenere Cipher

9-12
Following their introduction to the Caesar Cipher, students will now learn about the polyalphabetic Vigenere cipher. Text will be encoded and decoded using inverse operations.
Algebra

Domain Representations

9-12
Students use graphs, tables, number lines, verbal descriptions, and symbols to represent the domain of various functions.
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Number and Operations

Stacking Squares

9-12
This lesson prompts students to explore ways of arranging squares to represent equivalences involving square- and cube-roots. Students’ explanations and representations (with their various ways of finding these roots) form the basis for further work with radicals.
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Measurement

Rediscovering the Patterns in Pick’s Theorem

9-12
Students will use a geoboard, geoboard interactive, or Geometer’s Sketchpad® to help them discover the pattern of Pick’s Theorem.
Algebra

Pick’s Theorem as a System of Equations

9-12
Students will gather three examples from a geoboard or other representation to generate a system of equations. The solution will provide the coefficients for Pick’s Theorem.
Algebra

Rates of Change in Pick’s Theorem

9-12
Students will use a spreadsheet to investigate rates of change among various figures created on a geoboard. The coefficients of Pick’s Theorem are easily determined from these rates of change.
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Algebra

Hanging Chains

9-12
Both ends of a small chain will be attached to a board with a grid on it to (roughly) form a parabola. Students will choose three points along the curve and use them to identify an equation. Repeating the process, students will discover how the equation changes when the chain is shifted.
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Algebra

Movie Lines

9-12
This lesson allows students to apply their knowledge of linear equations and graphs in an authentic situation. Students plot data points corresponding to the cost of DVD rentals and interpret the results.