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This three-lesson math package promotes the development of math skills within the context of teaching about global issues and sustainability. Using real data students participate in activities that touch on credit card debt and national budgeting, investigate how our actions contribute to climate change and design an object to maximize economic benefits while minimizing impacts on people and environmental resources. Math topics include changing fractions to decimals (and vice-versa), solving percent word problems and algebraic equations, graphing inequalities and calculating the surface area and volume of cylinders and prisms.
Each lesson has opportunities for group/partner work, word problem assignments, and class discussion.
Rational Numbers-Financial Decisions:
Working in pairs, students examine a credit card offer sheet, come up with two questions or concerns that it raises and share them with the class. A handout is then given to each pair that focuses on word problems involving budgeting. A second worksheet compares factors contributing to national debt by investigating the revenues and expenditures of two countries. Math skills required include calculating percentages, decimal/fraction conversions, and solving problems involving more than one step.
Class discussion questions focus on the overuse of personal credit cards and the positive and negative implications of accumulating national debts.
Solving Inequalities- Carbon Emissions
Students complete a carbon footprint survey and then discuss as a class the terms carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, and climate change. They are then asked to express one way that to reduce climate change . A worksheet is completed which focuses on the carbon dioxide emissions of everyday items. Math skills required include writing and graphing inequalities, and solving one-step algebraic equations. Class discussion questions ask students to reflect on actions to reduce carbon footprints.
Volume and Surface Area-Sustainable Design
Students discuss in groups well designed and poorly designed everyday items. After sharing their ideas they are each given a plastic milk jug and a crate. Groups are instructed to re-design the jug so that a maximum number can be put into a crate. Ideas are presented to the class. A problem sheet is completed which highlights how volume and surface area calculations for prisms and cylinders are useful in deciding the most sustainable design for a milk container. Discussion questions focus on the environmental and economic benefits of materials that are sustainably designed.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
As a math resource, it provides adequate information for the students to see the link between the sustainability issues that are discussed and the math skills being used.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The resource focuses on the issue of making sustainable living choices. Good and bad choices will have future environmental, economic, and social impacts.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Although the resource does not examine all aspects of the issues it does promote dialogue and awareness through the carbon footprint, designing the container and examining financial choices activities.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Students have some opportunities during class discussions and group work to express their own beliefs/values.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
Students should see the link between our choices today and having a livable planet for future generations.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
Although there is no out-of-doors experience, the carbon footprint activity certainly encourages a personal affinity with the Earth.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The carbon footprint activity, the examination of credit card offers, and redesigning an everyday item like a milk jug gives local focus and relevance.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
There are no discussions of the past, but present day situations are examined and evaluated and students are encouraged to play a role in implementing solutions. The future is seen as positive if society continues to work towards changes that will lead to a sustainable future.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
A combination of structured and guided inquiry is used.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This is for the most part, a math resource delivered in the context of promoting choices and behaviors that will lessen negative environmental impacts in the future.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The resource teaches to both the cognitive and affective domains, but does not suggest any accomodations for those students who are struggling with math. Alternative math activities should be provided for these students.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Reflection questions and math problems are provided, complete with suggested solutions and answer keys. Rubrics have not been included.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Poor/Not considered|
Poor- there are no relevant case studies included
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Although the resource is specific with regards to content and materials used, there are opportunities in the extension activities that go deeper into chosen issues.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|