Project M³ Curriculum Units — Level 5-6

In each unit of the Project M3 series, students explore an interesting simulated or real-life problem connected to their world and use their Mathematician’s Journals to think, write, and act like mathematicians to solve the problem.

» Our Environment Matters: Making Sense of Percents
In this unit students strengthen their understanding of ratios and proportions and make connections to number concepts and algebra as they develop their understanding of percents. They will connect percents to different representations of the same number using fractions and decimals. They will also use a variety of models including double number lines, bar models (tape diagrams), and equations to make sense of situations that involve percents. Throughout Our Environment Matters, students have an opportunity to solve a myriad of practical applications all related protecting and saving our environment. They even get a chance to go shopping (virtually) as they purchase products to help conserve their home water usage.

» Record Makers and Breakers: Analyzing Graphs, Tables and Equations
This Project M3 unit is devoted to the study of patterns of change and relationships among quantities, major algebraic concepts that form an essential foundation for more advanced mathematics including algebra and calculus. In Record Makers and Breakers, students learn about algebra as a set of concepts tied to the representation of relationships either by words, tables or graphs while exploring some of the craziest world records. They also learn about algebra as a style of mathematical thinking for formalizing patterns of change. They extend their notion of variable from a letter in an equation that represents a number to a more broad definition, that of a quantity that varies or changes.

» Designer Boxes: Exploring Volume & Surface Area
Measurement is a process that students use every day. In this Project M3 unit on geometric measurement, students build on the work they have done with area and perimeter and extend it to 3-dimensional solids. The focus is on solving packaging problems and, in particular, on investigating measurements and characteristics of boxes. Throughout this unit on volume and surface area, students are asked to think creatively, or “out of the box!”

» What Are Your Chances? Probability in Action
What Are Your Chances? was designed to engage students as mathematicians conducting and analyzing experiments that involve the likelihood of events happening. Students have an opportunity to think deeply about the big ideas of probability including experimental versus theoretical probability and the Law of Large Numbers as they conduct experiments, gather data and analyze results. They will see how mathematics is used in real-life situations as they create a Carnival of Chance using games constructed with the laws of probability.

» Fun at the Carnival: Using Proportional Reasoning
In our unit, Fun at the Carnival: Using Proportional Reasoning students are introduced to similarity and congruence. Students explore ratio as a comparison of two quantities. Students also explore the relationship between congruence and similarity. They then go on to applications of congruence and similarity with a focus on enlargements and reductions. They investigate how 2- and 3-dimensional shapes change when they are scaled up or down. In particular, they examine changes in perimeter, area, and volume when dimensions are changed.