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    Jan Gebert is an Illuminations lesson plan reviewer and instructor of professional and secondary education at East Stroudsburg University. So she definitely knows a thing or two about quality lessons. Illuminations asked her for her favorite out of our 600+ lessons.
    Success Story

    Deeanna Golden, a teacher of 24 years at F.M. Golson Elementary School in Marianna, Florida, is a beloved Illuminations lesson plan writer. So we asked her, "Why do you think it is important to share resources?"

    Success Story

    In this unit, students become real business owners!

    • In the first lesson, students collaborate to develop an enticing product and are given $1000 which they must budget to cover the cost of real estate, advertising, and stocking their stores.
    • In the second lesson, students participate in "Selling Day!" and try to make a profit from their debit card wielding classmates who are looking for the best deals.

    Students' number sense and problem solving strategies are refined as groups compete for the title "Money Makers!" 

    Lesson Plan
    In this unit, students learn the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines and determine when each can be used to find a side length or angle of a triangle.
    Lesson Plan

    Every 4 years, citizens of the United States elect the person they believe should be our nation's new leader. This unit explores the mathematics of the electoral college, the system used in this country to determine the winner in a presidential election. The lessons include activities in 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 your curriculum at the time of an election. However, time permitting, they can be used as a unit to give students a strong understanding of how small variations can mean one person becomes president and another does not. Additionally, the lesson extensions include many ideas for interdisciplinary activities and some possible school-wide activities.

     

    Lesson Plan

    In this unit, students make groups of 10 to 20 objects, connect number names to the groups, compose and decompose numbers, and use numerals to record the size of a group. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities are included in each lesson. This unit is most appropriate for students typically in the first grade.

    Math Content

    Students will:

    • Understand the concept of number.
    • Build relationships between numbers.
    • Become familiar with equality.
    • Begin writing numerals.
     
    Lesson Plan
    Determine the volume of a box by filling it with cubes, rows of cubes, or layers of cubes. Determine the surface area as well by using the box's net.
    Web Interactive
    Grades: 3rd to 5th
    Measurement & Data
    Geometric measurement: understand concepts of volume and relate volume to multiplication and to addition.
    5.MD.C.3a, 5.MD.C.3b, 5.MD.C.4, 5.MD.C.5a, 5.MD.C.5b
    Diana Flores, who has a self-contained classroom, teaches highly and profoundly gifted students in Phoenix, AZ. Flores says math "rotations" is a "big-kid way to say centers." One of these math stations hosts computers, which students use frequently to visit Calculation NationTM .
    Success Story
    The 23-year teacher modifies games to meet the different learning needs in her classroom. See how she modified Deep Sea Duel.
    Success Story
    Count, add, and subtract by grouping cows.
    Web Interactive
    Grades: Pre K to 2nd, PreK to 2nd
    Number & Operations
    Algebraic Thinking
    Counting & Cardinality
    Understand place value.
    Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.
    Add and subtract within 20.
    Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction.
    Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from.
    Count to tell the number of objects.
    Know number names and the count sequence.
    K.CC.A.1, K.CC.B.4a, K.CC.B.4b, K.CC.B.5, K.OA.A.1, K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.5, 1.OA.B.4, 1.OA.C.6, 1.NBT.C.4, 2.OA.B.2, 2.NBT.B.7, 2.NBT.A.2
    Manipulate various geometric solids and investigate their properties.
    Web Interactive
    Grades: High School, 6th to 8th, 3rd to 5th, PreK to 2nd, Pre K to 2nd
    Geometry
    Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
    Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.
    Identify and describe shapes (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres).
    K.G.A.2, K.G.B.4, 6.G.A.4
    Create customized activity sheets for your classroom.
    Web Interactive
    Grades: High School, 6th to 8th, 3rd to 5th, PreK to 2nd, 9th to 12th, Pre K to 2nd
    Functions
    Geometry
    The Number System
    Num & Ops Fractions
    Measurement & Data
    Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models
    Use functions to model relationships between quantities.
    Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
    Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system of rational numbers.
    Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
    Develop understanding of fractions as numbers.
    Relate addition and subtraction to length.
    Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.
    Identify and describe shapes (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres).
    K.G.A.2, K.G.B.4, 2.MD.B.6, 3.NF.A.2a, 3.NF.A.2b, 5.G.A.1, 6.NS.C.6c, 6.NS.C.7a, 6.G.A.4, 8.F.B.5, HSF-LE.A.1b
    Anthony incorporates Illuminations lessons into her curriculum, but she also expands, tweaks and creates new materials to ensure these lessons are meeting the needs of her students.
    Success Story
    Chelsea Cutting from Mount Gambier, South Australia, tells us about the real-world connections her students are able to make after using Illumination resources.
    Success Story

    These investigations use movement to reinforce the concepts of linear functions and systems of equations. Multiple representations are used throughout, along with tools such as motion detectors and remote-controlled cars. Students explore how position, speed, and varying motion are reflected in graphs, tables, and algebraic equations.

     

    Lesson Plan
    Learn how to count, collect, exchange, and make change for coins. An optional array representation will help you count as you learn the value of each coin.
    Web Interactive
    Grades: 3rd to 5th, PreK to 2nd
    Matthew Jaques, ninth and tenth grade teacher for Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, discovered Illuminations by way of Bright Ideas and has been using, modifying and creating his own lessons ever since.
    Success Story

    In this unit, students practice measurement by measuring themselves. Students use nonstandard units to practice measuring their heights and arm spans. Then, they create a "body map" and use directional and positional words.

     

    Lesson Plan
    Many students may have seen Pick’s Theorem in middle school. In this set of lessons, students rediscover the theorem, use algebra to determine the coefficients of the equation, and explore the concept of change as a mechanism for finding the coefficients of Pick’s Theorem.

    Math Content

    Students will:

    • Solve systems of equations.
    • Find rates of change.

    Although no single lesson in this unit addresses connections and representation by itself, the entire unit focuses on the Connections and Representation Standards by allowing students to make connections among mathematical ideas and asking students to use various representations to organize their work.

     

    Lesson Plan

    The interactive Paper Pool game provides an opportunity for students to develop their understanding of ratio, proportion, greatest common factor and least common multiple.

    In this investigation, students are asked to play a game called Paper Pool. The game is played on rectangular grids made of congruent squares.

    The Paper Pool unit was adapted with permission and guidance from the Connected Mathematics Project.

    Math Content

    Students will:
    • Develop their understanding of ratios, proportions, and equivalent fractions.
    • Find the greatest common factor and the least common multiple.
    • Investigate similar figures.
    • Gather and organize data.
    • Search for patterns.
     
    Lesson Plan
    Grades: 6th to 8th, 3rd to 5th
    Stats & Probability
    Algebraic Thinking
    Summarize and describe distributions.
    Generate and analyze patterns.
    4.OA.C.5, 6.SP.B.5b
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