July 9, 2010

This collection consists of two units that use "Sims" families (i.e. virtual families created by students) to engage middle-schoolers in various aspects of the Pre-Algebra curriculum. It uses a problem based learning design and centers around a Sims family that students progressively create (through Internet research) and use to solve various real-life problems pertaining to family life. Examples of such problems include: creating a family budget, filing taxes, planning and budgeting for a family road trip, etc. This collection consists of two instructional units which can be used either as complete curricula for their corresponding Pre-Algebra objectives or as supplements to the required curriculum. As a teacher, I have found this to be most rewarding when used as an extension and practical application of the curriculum I'm teaching.

- Mathematics > General
- Mathematics > Algebra
- Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
- Mathematics > Data Analysis & Probability
- Mathematics > Graphing
- Mathematics > Number Sense & Operations
- Mathematics > Problem Solving
- Mathematics > Statistics

- Grade 6
- Grade 7
- Grade 8

The student will describe and compare data, using ratios, and will use appropriate notations, such as a/b, a to b, and a:b.

investigate and describe fractions, decimals, and percents as ratios;

identify a given fraction, decimal, or percent from a representation;

identify and represent integers;

order and compare integers; and

identify and describe absolute value of integers.

The student will solve single-step and multistep practical problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of decimals.

construct circle graphs;

draw conclusions and make predictions, using circle graphs; and

compare and contrast graphs that present information from the same data set.

describe mean as balance point; and

decide which measure of center is appropriate for a given purpose.

identify and describe absolute value for rational numbers.

model addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of integers; and

add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers.

The student will solve single-step and multistep practical problems, using proportional reasoning.

The student will represent relationships with tables, graphs, rules, and words.

write verbal expressions as algebraic expressions and sentences as equations and vice versa; and

evaluate algebraic expressions for given replacement values of the variables.

solve practical problems involving rational numbers, percents, ratios, and proportions; and

determine the percent increase or decrease for a given situation.

make comparisons, predictions, and inferences, using information displayed in graphs; and

construct and analyze scatterplots.

The student will make connections between any two representations (tables, graphs, words, and rules) of a given relationship.

The student will graph a linear equation in two variables.

The student will identify the domain, range, independent variable, or dependent variable in a given situation.

The student will represent verbal quantitative situations algebraically and evaluate these expressions for given replacement values of the variables.

The student will compare and contrast multiple univariate data sets, using box-and-whisker plots.