Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Insights Into Algebra 1 - Teaching For Learning
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Topic Overview Lesson Plans Student Work Teaching Strategies Resources
Workshop 7 Direct and Inverse Variation Lesson Plans
Lesson Plans:


Lesson Plan 1: Be Direct - Oil Spills on Land

Lesson Plan 2: Very Varied - Inverse Variation
Download the Workshop 7 Guide

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NCTM Standards

Lesson Plan 1: Be Direct - Oil Spills on Land

Overview Procedures For Teachers Related Standardized Test Questions Materials

This lesson teaches students about direct variation by allowing them to explore a simulated oil spill using toilet paper tissues (to represent land) and drops of vegetable oil (to simulate a volume of oil). This lesson plan is based on the activity used by teacher Peggy Lynn in Part I of the Workshop 7 video.

Time Allotment:
One to two 50-minute periods

Subject Matter:
Direct variation
Linear functions

Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to:
  • Describe the primary characteristics of a direct variation.
  • Explain why the relationship between the volume of oil and the area of land it covers represents a direct variation.
  • Recognize situations in other contexts that are direct variations (such as the relationship between circumference and diameter).
  • Give examples of real-world direct variations besides those studied in class.
  • Define direct variation and constant of proportionality.
Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 2000:

NCTM Algebra Standard for Grades 6-8

NCTM Algebra Standard for Grades 9-12

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