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Estimations and Approximations: The Money Munchers
  • Lesson Structure
    • In this unit, students choose and use mathematics to model a problem situation.

      • Before the lesson, students attempt the assessment task The Money Munchers individually. You then review their work and create questions for them to answer in order to improve their solutions.
      • During the lesson,
        • At the start of the lesson, students again work individually on The Money Munchers task, answering your questions.
        • Next, students work collaboratively in small groups. Their task is to produce a better solution to The Money Munchers than they did individually.
        • Then working in the same small groups, students analyze responses to The Money Munchers written by students in another class.
        • In a whole-class discussion, students compare and evaluate the solution methods they have seen and used.
      • After the lesson, students spend ten minutes reviewing their individual solutions, and writing about what they have learned.
  • Formative Assessment Task: The Money Munchers
    • Students are presented a scenario based on the work of Italian physicist Enrico Fermi. In the scenario, Emily has stored $24,400 in dollar bills under her mattress because she doesn’t trust banks. Emily’s daughter convinces her that millions of bed bugs may be eating her money, so Emily decides to remove the money from under the mattress and take it to the bank. Students must determine how many inches the mattress will be lowered when the money is removed and whether the suitcase selected to take the money to the bank will be big enough to accomplish the task.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practices Common Core State Standards for Content

      This lesson involves a range of mathematical practices from the standards, with emphasis on:

      1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
      2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
      3. Construct viable arguments, and critique the work of others.
      4. Model with mathematics.
      1. Attend to precision.

      This lesson involves mathematical content in the standards from across the grades, with emphasis on the following Domain.Cluster:

      • 7G: Sole real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume.
  • Introduction: Mathematical Goals
    • This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to:

      1. Model a situation.
      2. Make sensible, realistic assumptions and estimates.
      3. Use assumptions and estimates to create a chain of reasoning, in order to solve a practical problem.
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