Lesson plan

Explore exponential growth by folding paper

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-IF.B.5 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSF/IF/B/5
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-IC.A.1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSS/IC/A/1

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This lesson builds on students’ prior learning about linear relationships and their intuition about the rates of linear and exponential growth. Students will collect data on three different phenomena: 1) the height of a stack of paper, made by adding paper one sheet at a time; 2) the number of layers in a single sheet of paper, repeatedly folded in half; 3) the height of the single sheet of paper folded in half. By collecting quantitative data that results from both exact and inexact processes, students are able to compare and contrast these two types of relationships. Students are also encouraged to consider the sets of input values for which the relationships make sense in a particular context. The data collected in this lesson will be used as the basis for future investigations into exponential growth and decay, and builds towards students' future work in writing functions to model exponential relationships, and in determining curves of best fit. Vocabulary: data, table, exact, inexact, domain, range Special Materials: Paper for folding Centimeter rulers 5 stacks of 10 papers for each student group