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?"
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.
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
If possible, each student should have access to an individual computer.
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.
In this unit, students become real
Students' number sense and problem
solving strategies are refined as groups compete for the title "Money
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.
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.
In this unit, students will use
geoboards to visualize the geometric meanings of square and square root.
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.
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.