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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

    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 interactive geometry investigation, students explore polyhedra using different representations and perspectives for three dimensional block figures. In addition, students will examine area and volume concepts for block figures within this context.

    Math Content

    Students will:
    • Analyze characteristics and properties of three dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships.
    • Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.
    • Create three dimensional shapes using the isometric drawing tool and represent these shapes as isometric drawings.
    • Find the surface area and volume of various polyhedra created in this unit.

    If possible, each student should have access to an individual computer.

    Lesson Plan

    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
    The concepts of greater than, less than, and equal to are explored in this 2-lesson unit. Students create piles of food on two islands, and their fish always swims toward the island with more food. The fish's mouth is open to represent the greater than and less than symbols. Students transition from the concrete representation of using piles of food and the fish to writing inequalities with numerals and symbols.
    Lesson Plan

    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

    These activities guide students through a rich exploration of percent concentration using both tactile experiences and real-world applications. Students predict, model, and generalize their conjectures about percent concentrations.

    Math Content

    Students will:
    • Explore, estimate and apply percent concentrations.
    • Generalize a formula from specific experiences.
     
    Lesson Plan

    In this unit, students explore circles. In the first lesson students apply the concepts of area and circumference to explore arrangements for soda cans that lead to a more efficient package. In the second lesson, students experiment with three-dimensional arrangements to discover the effect of gravity on the arrangement of soda cans. The final lesson allows students to examine the more advanced mathematical concept of curvature.

    Math Content

    In this unit, students will:
    • Determine circumference and area.
    • Calculate the efficiency of an arrangements of cans.
    • Create a model for arranging cans on a shelf.
    • Determine the curvature of a circle.
     
    Lesson Plan
    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
    Much like athletes must warm up their muscles before heading into a game, students often warm up with engaging classroom activities or problems of the day before diving into the daily math lesson. Wan Chow of Bishop Strachtan School in Toronto finds the perfect warm-up in Illuminations.
    Success Story
    Carol Fears teaches sixth-grade math at Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School on a U.S. Army post in Germany. Throughout her 27 years of teaching, Illuminations has become her go-to resource for teaching new topics or looking for new ideas.
    Success Story
    It has often been said that love happens when you least expect it, and now the same can be said for finding math resources. Victoria Miles, 7th grade math teacher at Abigail Adams Middle School, came upon Illuminations after a Google search directed her to the site.
    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
    Teachers are not the only ones who encourage students to play Calculation Nation--parents do too! Dana Slevin, and her middle school daughters play Calculation Nation at home.
    Success Story

    In this unit, students will use geoboards to visualize the geometric meanings of square and square root.

    Math Content

    Students will:

    • Connect the square of a number to the area of a square whose side length is given.
    • Understand that the square root of a number can be represented as the side length of a square whose area is given.
    • be introduced to irrational numbers as the side lengths of non-traditional squares. Make connections between geometry, measurement and number sense through the use of manipulatives.

     

    Lesson Plan

    In this unit, students use the area formula for a rectangle to discover the area formulas for triangles, parallelograms, and trapezoids. Students also consider irregular figures whose areas can be determined by estimation or decomposition.

    Prerequisite Knowledge

    • Students need to have a conceptual understanding of area, as well as some familiarity with the area formula for rectangles.
    • Students need to have a conceptual understanding of area, as well as some familiarity with the area formula for rectangles.
     
    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
    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
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