10 pages, aligned with common core standards. The cornerstone lesson to what I consider to be easily the best unit I can offer my algebra students. This lesson is part of a series of problems I created that are focused around graphing linear functions and the use of new tools (tables, graphs, equations) to solve problems in context. Students use multiple methods to explore functions and multi-step equations (in one variable) in the course of two application problems: a botany experiment and a car rental conundrum. Underneath the rich content is an important lesson about presentation: a solution to a problem illustrates, generalizes, communicates, and verifies the results. An answer is just a number. Which is better?
This lesson begins with a teacher directed problem that introduces students to interpreting a problem in context and using expressions, functions, tables, and graphs to communicate a solution. Also included is a student self-directed problem that takes these skills and runs with them. The pair of these two problems serve as an excellent introduction to inquiry based learning and lend themselves well to standards based grading systems.
This lesson is designed to be used after students have a basic understanding of how to solve one-variable equations (including those with variables on both sides). They should also have prior knowledge of coordinate graphing and the concept of functions (but not necessarily function notation). For me, this was chapter three in my Algebra 1 course.
Use this lesson to jump start your own standards-based unit or complement with my practice tasks
and assessment task
Also included in this unit is a cover page with essential questions, common core standards alignment, student objectives, and teacher notes. Teacher answer keys are also provided.
This work by Emily McGary Allman
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