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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Is it Really that BIG?
Description: Just how tall is that object?  In this lesson, students will participate in an outdoor group activity using shadows to extend their knowledge of proportions to solve problems dealing with similarity. The cooperative learning groups will measure the heights and shadows of familiar objects (like themselves!) and use indirect measurement to find the heights of things that are much bigger in size, such as a tree, a school building, or a flagpole.


Subject: Education and Training (7 - 8), or Mathematics (7)
Title: Becoming a Wise Consumer: Comparison Shopping
Description: In this introductory lesson to money management for teens, students will use everyday math skills to comparison shop a variety of products. Students will learn several ways to save money, including using store discounts, coupons, and unit pricing to determine the better deal. This is Part I of a series on becoming a wise consumer. 


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: To Scale or not to Scale?  That is the Factor.
Description: Students will learn to solve proportions and find missing sides of similar figures using the scale factor.  This lesson is best taught before the concept of cross multiplication is developed.  Not only will the student learn the process of using a scale factor to find a missing value from a proportion, but they will also practice these skills in a timed game online.  They will realize that the scale factor is sometimes not an integer, and some proportions are more difficult to solve.  This lesson is a great precursor to the means and extremes property of proportions also known as cross multiplication.


Subject: Education and Training (7 - 8), or Mathematics (7)
Title: Becoming a Wise Consumer: Creating a Budget
Description: In this lesson, students will learn how to become a wise consumer by creating a budget based on needs and wants. Students will create a weekly budget with a variable income using the interactive app MWB: My Weekly Budget available on iTunes. Other budgeting spreadsheets will be suggested.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Mathematics (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: An Interest.....ing Math Lesson
Description: Eventually everyone will need to borrow money for one reason or another. A good understanding of how interest works will go a long way when applying for a loan. In this lesson students will complete a KWL chart about the purchase of a new vehicle. Students will visit several Websites where they will be able to practice computing simple interest. Then students will have an opportunity to compute simple interest problems that are located in a interactive whiteboard presentation. Students will also answer several written questions about simple interest. They will also create a presentation that will contain information that they gathered during one of the activities that are included in this lesson.


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Using Scale Factors: Drawing Your Body to Scale
Description: Teachers will use this lesson to review and apply skills involving scale factors.  Teachers will use illuminations website to review scale factor.  Then students will be given instructions to draw their bodies to scale.


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Are You INTEREST-ed?
Description: In this lesson, students will explore simple interest through the use of studying loans and savings accounts. The students will generate the formula I=P x r x t to calculate simple interest on loans. Students will become familiar with "positive" and "negative" effects interest has on real-life applications. This lesson plan was created by exemplary Alabama Math Teachers through the AMSTI project.


Subject: Mathematics (7)
Title: Shadows and Indirect Measurement
Description: This lesson will allow students to measure shadows to compute heights indirectly.  They will set up and solve a proportion to find the height of a light pole on campus.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or Mathematics (7)
Title: Credit Cards Are "Interest"ing
Description: Students will create a credit card, focusing on appealing terms and slogan.  They will use their credit card to go on a shopping spree.  The students will receive a "BILL" to discover/discuss the effects/application of simple interest.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Arts Education (7 - 12), or Mathematics (7)
Title: Enlarge my "Ride" (Scale & Proportion)
Description: Students will take the measurements of model cars. The students will use these measurements and scale factors to set up proportions and find the actual size of the the vehicle. As a final activity, students will use sidewalk chalk to sketch the vehicle in the parking lot. Alternate indoor activity provided under Modifications Section.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 8), or Science (8)
Title: Incline Plane and the Crashing Marble
Description: Students will measure the effects of the height of an inclined plane on the force a marble produces to move a plastic, foam, or paper cup across a table. Students will discover that the higher the incline plane, the more force produced by the marble, which moves the cup a greater distance. Students will also learn how to graph data and discover the appropriate graph to use for comparison.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


Subject: Mathematics (7), or Science (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Where Did You Get Those "Jeans"?
Description: This lesson can be interdisciplinary involving science, mathematics, and language arts. The primary nature of the lesson is inquiry, project, and technology-based. In science this project is a culminating activity in the heredity unit.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Trading and Tracking Stock Portfolios Online
Description: Student teams will trade stocks and track the progress of their Alabama Stock Market Simulation portfolio by using spreadsheet software and the Internet. They will relate the information to a previous social studies unit on economics and will be utilizing math concepts they have learned. The Internet will be used to research stock trends.


Subject: Mathematics (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: How Much Money Can I Make?
Description: This lesson is a technology-based activity in which students will research two careers they are possibly interested in pursuing. They will convert the average yearly salary of each career into an hourly wage and record their findings in a spreadsheet. They will calculate their weekly gross and net pay for each career choice.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts,Mathematics,Social Studies
Title: Real Estate Tycoon      Add Bookmark
Description: This year-long project, from Illuminations, is divided into three parts and reinforces skills that lay a foundation for algebra, such as measurement, fractions, decimals, percents, and proportions. Students design, build, and sell a house and then simulate investment of the profits in the stock market. Along the way, students make scale drawings, compute with fractions and decimals in various contexts, solve simple equations, and learn valuable lessons about how money really works.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Getting into the Electoral College      Add Bookmark
Description: In this unit of 3 lessons from Illuminations, students are engaged in activities involving percentages, ratios, and area, with a focus throughout on building problem-solving and reasoning skills. They are designed to be used individually to fit within curriculum being covered at the time of an election. Additionally, the lesson extensions include many ideas for interdisciplinary activities and some possible school-wide activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: A Swath of Red      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students estimate the area of the country that voted for the Republican candidate and the area that voted for the Democratic candidate in the 2000 presidential election using a grid overlay. Students then compare the areas to the electoral and popular vote election results. Ratios of electoral votes to area are used to make generalizations about the population distribution of the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics,Science
Title: Inclined Plane      Add Bookmark
Description: In this multiple-day activity, from Illuminations, students time balls rolling down inclines of varying lengths and heights. They then try to make inferences about the relationships among the variables involved.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Shops at the Mall      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students develop number sense in and around the shopping mall. They explore the allotment of space within a mall by generating a class list of stores typically found in a shopping center or mall. They then categorize stores into general categories, such as women's clothing, food service, and so on, and conduct research about malls in their own area. Finally, students plan a mall and create a scale drawing.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Canada Data Map      Add Bookmark
Description: Investigate data for the Canadian provinces and territories with this interactive tool. Students can examine data sets contained within the interactive, or they can enter their own data.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Health - Disease - Mathematics - Applied Mathematics - Science - Biology - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Africa's Struggle With AIDS      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Xpeditions lesson, students come to understand the enormity of the impact of AIDS on the population of Africa by comparing its effect there with its effect on the population of the world in general, and especially on that of the United States. After locating Africa on a world map, and individual sub-Saharan nations on a map of Africa, students examine charts and graphs to find and compare data about AIDS in Africa, the world, and the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Health,Mathematics,Informal Education
Title: Big Math and Fries      Add Bookmark
Description: This Illuminations lesson is designed to enlighten students about how to calculate percent of calories from fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The calculations are made to determine if a person can follow the Zone Diet with only McDonald's food items.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Bagel Algebra      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, a real life example--taken from a bagel shop--is used to get students to think about solving a problem symbolically. Students must decipher a series of equations and interpret results to understand the point that the bagel shop s owner is trying to make about the price of his bagels compared to that of his competitor.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Bagel Comparison      Add Bookmark
Description: This reproducible transparency, from an Illuminations lesson, presents information from a sign displayed by a real bagel retailer, comparing the price of their bagels to that of their competitor.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: The Next Billion      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students predict when the world's population will reach 7 billion. To do so, they use an on-line counter that simulates the changing world population. They time the counter to find how long it takes for the population to increase by 50 or 100 people. They use that measurement to predict how long it would take for the population to increase by 1 billion. Students discuss the reliability of their predictions, compare them to past trends, and discuss social factors that can affect population growth.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Constant Dimensions      Add Bookmark
Description: In this Illuminations lesson, students measure the length and width of a rectangle using both standard and non-standard units of measure. In addition to providing measurement practice, this lesson allows students to discover that the ratio of length to width of a rectangle is constant, in spite of the units. For many middle school students, this discovery is surprising.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Capture - Recapture      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students experience an application of proportion that scientists actually use to solve real-life problems. Students learn how to estimate the size of a total population by taking samples and using proportions. The ratio of tagged items to the number of items in a sample is the same as the ratio of tagged items to the total population.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: Bean Counting      Add Bookmark
Description: By using sampling from a large collection of beans, students get a sense of equivalent fractions, which leads to a better understanding of proportions. Equivalent fractions are used to develop an understanding of proportions. The number-sense of recognizing equivalent fractions is useful when students study slope and proportions.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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