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Data Analysis and Probability

Will the Best Candidate Win?

9-12
This lesson plan for grades 9‑12 is adapted from an article in the January 2000 edition of Mathematics Teacher. The following activities allow students to explore alternative voting methods. Students discover what advantages and disadvantages each method offers and also see that each fails, in some way, to satisfy some desirable properties.
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Algebra

Supply and Demand

9-12
In this grades 9–12 activity, students write and solve a system of linear equations in a real-world setting. Students should be familiar with finding linear equations from 2 points or from the slope and y-intercept. Graphing calculators are not necessary for this activity, but could be used to extend the ideas found on the second activity sheet. Parts of this lesson plan were adapted from the October 1991 edition of Mathematics Teacher.
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Algebra

Using a Calculator for Finding the Equation of a Function

9-12
To determine the function of best fit for a set of data, students should recognize which category of function bests fit the data and know how to use technology to obtain a function. This lesson teaches these skills and prepares students for the subsequent lesson(s), in which they will collect their own data.
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Geometry

Pieces of Proof

9-12
There is a leap to be made from understanding postulates and theorems in geometry to writing proofs using them.  This lesson offers an intermediate step, in which students put together the statements and reasons to build a formal proof.
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Algebra

Rise-Run Triangles

6-8, 9-12
This lesson offers students a method for finding the slope of a line from its graph.  The skills from this lesson can be applied as a tool to real-world examples of rate of change and slope.
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Algebra

Do I Have to Mow the Whole Thing?

9-12
This lesson offers examples of inverse variation. Students collect data and generate graphs before finding specific equations for inverse variation relationships and examining their graphs.
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Algebra

Egg Launch Contest

9-12
Students will represent quadratic functions as a table, with a graph, and with an equation. They will compare data and move between representations.
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Algebra

Trains, Fibonacci, and Recursive Patterns

6-8, 9-12
In this lesson, students will use Cuisenaire Rods to build trains of different lengths and investigate patterns. Students will use tables to create graphs, define recursive functions, and approximate exponential formulas to describe the patterns.
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Geometry

Dividing a Town into Pizza Delivery Regions

9-12

Students will construct perpendicular bisectors, find circumcenters, calculate area, and use proportions to explore the following problem:

You are the owner of five pizzerias in the town of Squaresville. To ensure minimal delivery times, you devise a system in which customers call a central phone number and get transferred to the pizzeria that is closest to them. How should you divide the town into five regions so that every house receives delivery from the closest pizzeria? Also, how many people should staff each location based on coverage area?
 
Algebra

Exploring Equations

9-12
 In this lesson, students use their knowledge of weights and balance, symbolic expressions, and representations of functions to link all three concepts.