Lesson plan

Model exponential decay by investigating areas using folded paper

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-IF.C.8b http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSF/IF/C/8/b
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.A.1c http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSF/LE/A/1/c

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Big Ideas: Exponential decay occurs when a quantity is decreasing at a constant multiplicative rate. If the common growth factor in an exponential function is between 0 and 1, the function represents exponential decay. Students explore exponential decay by examining how the area of a quadrilateral changes. Specifically, students fold a piece of paper in half and notice how the area of one surface of the folded paper compares to the original area. Because the area decreases by a constant percent rate, this demonstrates exponential decay. Students who have completed Tasks 1-4 can contrast this decay with the exponential growth that occurs in the number of layers as the paper is folded. Vocabulary: exponential growth, exponential decay Special Materials: Paper