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Lesson Plan

Model exponential decay by investigating areas using folded paper

teaches Common Core State Standards 2A.8A
teaches Common Core State Standards AII.EL.3
teaches Common Core State Standards AII.EL.4
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.A.1c
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-IF.C.8b
teaches Common Core State Standards A.9C

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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
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