24 Pages. This unit on scatterplots and trend lines is designed to accompany the study of linear functions. It is fully aligned with the Common Core Standards. Students should already be familiar with the following:
* Writing equations of lines given slope and y-intercept or point and slope
* Graphing points and lines (from slope & intercept and from point & slope)
* Identifying slope (rate of change) and intercepts from a graph
I have used this unit in both a beginning algebra course (between linear functions and systems of linear equations) and an advanced algebra course (in the introductory unit on linear functions). It consists of three parts:
1. Introduction to scatter plots and trend lines through an analysis of Olympic swimming results. Students first learn to work with scatter plots by hand plotting and drawing trend lines. Equations are used to explore and interpret the scenario.
2. Student Activity exploring an epidemic of West Nile Virus. This lesson introduces technology for calculating regression equations and explores non-linear regressions. Instructions are included for TI-83/84 and MS Excel (more possibilities available, upon request).
3. Performance Task Assessment: two fictional families travel the frontier in search of the American dream. Students must use their regression skills to analyze data taken from found journals in order to determine if either family makes it before running out of water. Comprehensive grading rubric is included.
This unit contains full answer keys for all handouts as well as a cover page detailing essential question, common core standards and student objectives, and teaching notes.
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