Fire Fighter Math 1: Wildfire Algebra
6th - 8th, Homeschool
Students discover that fire fighters need middle-school math. Students complete some warm-up exercises involving unit conversions (mph to ft/sec or kph to m/sec) without and with a calculator and then they simplify algebraic expressions and solve simultaneous equations. Students use this math to calculate real life fire front speeds that fire fighters have faced in Montana, USA and Victoria, Australia. The power of this math is that the calculations are based on the stories about and conditions faced by these real fire fighters. No lectures are needed on the danger of wildfires as the numbers speak for themselves.
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor, and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.
Understand that rewriting an expression in different forms in a problem context can shed light on the problem and how the quantities in it are related. For example, 𝘢 + 0.05𝘢 = 1.05𝘢 means that “increase by 5%” is the same as “multiply by 1.05.”
Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. For example: If a woman making $25 an hour gets a 10% raise, she will make an additional 1/10 of her salary an hour, or $2.50, for a new salary of $27.50. If you want to place a towel bar 9 3/4 inches long in the center of a door that is 27 1/2 inches wide, you will need to place the bar about 9 inches from each edge; this estimate can be used as a check on the exact computation.
Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in different ways. For example, compare a distance-time graph to a distance-time equation to determine which of two moving objects has greater speed.