Variables & variable expressions + literacy issues

Students explore various variables related to literacy, with a focus on differences in literacy rates by race. Students consider current research, which has been unable to successfully identify variables that explain these differences by race. Then, they explore, in detail, one factor that may influence literacy rates – the lack of children’s book publications by and about people of color. Finally, students explore variables that they think are important in order to propose an action that they might take as a class to impact literacy rates in their local community.

Variables & equations + safe driving

That the distance between when a driver wants to stop and the vehicle coming to a stop is determined by several factors, two of which are reaction time and how fast the vehicle is traveling initially.  This task will help students form objective arguments and mathematically justify what students already know from recent accidents in their community: driving too fast is dangerous.  

Exponential functions + Post-graduation plans

The purpose of this lesson is two-fold. First, it is to have students use their knowledge of exponential functions to model a real-world context relevant to their lives: some different options available to them after graduating from high school. Second, it is to inform the students of these different options in a way such that they can apply it to their own life by using the data to determine the pros and cons of each option, which they will hopefully take into account when they actually have to make this decision.

Linear Equations and Graphs + Fair Living Wages

Students work as a group to figure out the hourly wage necessary for a family in Chicago to afford housing using linear equations and graphs. They look at real data about hourly wages and the cost for renting each month. The goal is to use mathematics to decide whether or not you think six families in Chicago are paid fair wages. Links to resources are provided to adapt the task for other cities.