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This unit was developed for a junior level pre-Calculus class to be taught during the first quarter of the 2016-17 school year. The lessons of the unit will culminate in each group of students creating and analyzing a mathematical model to predict the future impacts of climate change in New Hampshire and make a presentation as a group. The texts and historic data source, while specific to New Hampshire, may be of interest to other regions of the country. However, state climate change reports and climate data specific to your location may be available through state universities and meteorological stations.
High School
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Unit of Study
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Angie Miller on Oct 31, 12:58pm

I love the possibilities that come with this unit! At a middle school level, this could be an expanded cross-disciplinary unit with math, science, language arts, and technology. I also love the flexibility of it--it could be applied to a local region, or students could pick an area of the world they are interested in and explore the cultural implications. Further local connections, like with NOAA, Woods Hole, MWO, etc. could prove to be interesting as well. Any project that takes data sets and makes them authentic and relevant to students is a worthy endeavour. I applaud you and am so excited to share this information with my calculus teacher to see how we can initiate a similar project!

Rachel Bartlett on Oct 27, 02:02pm

I love the cross curricular connections in this unit. I have used this footprint calculator before and as an extension, ask the students to rerun their household data but have their setting in another country. Nordic countries use so many renewables that the "services" sector is significantly reduced and I wonder if you could do some modeling around sources of energy production and what might happen if we shifted our energy portfolio towards. renewables.

Fantastic use of data and modeling! I also wonder if you have ever used a model analogy map? It asks students to compare components of a model to real world situations and explore limitations of the model. This is difficult to do with younger students but we use it a lot in my science elective classes.

Jill Zaffers on Oct 23, 08:24pm

I hope your students appreciate the authenticity of the unit you have planned for them. I like how you began with the "Favorite Things.." article and finding their carbon footprint, sure helps to bring home the idea of our collective responsibility for the things we love. I appreciate the use a data and am impressed with the idea that your students will be using modeling to determine future effects of climate change. The one suggestion I have is that you strengthen descriptors in your rubrics to reflect how you would differentiate among the levels. Perhaps when you are providing a model for how you would annotate or work with the data set, you could highlight what would be an example of exemplary or proficient. I look forward to seeing the results of your endeavor!

Kevin Lavigne on Oct 09, 10:37am

I like the large data sets and modeling aspect of this proposed project. Students need many opportunities to wrestle with the managing, sorting and interpretation of large data sets and modeling!

It would be interesting to connect this information with the weather data base generated from Mt. Washington. Also, take a class trip to the Mt. Washington Observatory to see how all of the data is collected and generated.

Could the students begin to create a legacy project. After YEAR ONE, the data and predictions from the previous years would be evaluated and updated. This would help to reinforce the idea of model refinement with new data.

Lisa Petrie on Sep 27, 08:17am

UNIT DESCRIPTION & TOPIC: Relevant and personal! It's easy to see how this unit can be customized to any area of the country, as stated in your abstract.

STANDARDS: Will you summatively assess all of the science literacy standards you have identified? I wonder if you could eliminate the standards that will be formatively assessed, specifically standards RST.9-10.2 and RST.9-10.8. Others...?



SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT DESCRIPTION & RUBRICS: Your formative assessment rubric is clear and concise. A possible suggestion: the rubric identifies both skills (reading, thinking) and dispositions (behavior). It also includes the category "Carbon Footprint". I wonder if it would be better to change that category to "Complex Thinking" or some other type of academic skill/disposition, and limit content specific words like "carbon data" to the rubric proficiency description columns? Hopefully my suggestion makes sense to you! Your summative and presentation rubrics seem clear and concise.

STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Nice. A wonder: Joanna suggested that we write our SLO's using the language, "Students will be able". Do you need to be more specific in stating exactly how your students will achieve each objective? In other words, do you need to tack a phrase onto the end of each SLO that begins with the with the word, "by"...?

TEXT SET: It's terrific! I like that you have a combination of scholarly and popular texts. You've introduced students to some great open educational resources. It's also interesting to note that you will give students the brief news article from UNH to spark interest prior to assigning the more difficult anchor text. Great idea! Also, it seems appropriate that you focus on a particular page range of your anchor text (pgs 5-12) so that kids are not overwhelmed by it. Clarifying question: How will students access the supplemental reading list?

VOCABULARY: Your tier-two vocabulary list is concise. Was this the entire list of vocab as generated by, or did you customize the list specifically for this unit? It seems completely appropriate for your purpose.​ Did you end up adding it as an addendum to your anchor text, or did you make it available in some other way? I love that you also include a link to a glossary of content-specific terms from the Environmental Protection Agency!

TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS: I'm new to writing TDQs. I wonder if you (me, all of us...) need to be even more explicit when connecting questions directly to our texts? At the end of each question, you identify very specific page numbers and charts where students can locate answers to your questions, but would it help kids understand the importance of using evidence from text to support one's conclusions if we were more up-front about it? If we actually begin questions by referring to the text first? Example: "According to the insert on page 11, why are thirty-year periods used as historic periods?" This is as much a question for me as it is for you.

SUGGESTED LESSON BREAKDOWN/PACING: This seems like a reasonable amount of time for students to achieve lesson goals and objectives. It's unclear, though, to what extent you will read the anchor and supporting texts aloud in class. Is most of the reading independent? Regarding the text-dependent questions identified for two of your texts, will you be addressing these through whole-class discussion, or will students independently answer them in writing? Taking time for whole-class discussion while you explore the texts could help enhance understanding and stimulate thinking.

Thank you for sharing your work! I look forward to seeing your student work examples!

Lisa Petrie, Library Media Specialist
Souhegan High School

Rebecca Hanna on Sep 25, 06:34pm

V2 Climate Change in New Hampshire will be a good unit of study for upper level math students. Finding real data to model functions and interpret data in the classroom increases the understanding for students. The anchor text at first was overwhelming but the use of specific sections for small groups to examine and discuss is more palatable. The topic should draw students in to learn. Students may also become more active participants in their world and climate change after this unit of study.
The rubric maybe hard to delineate between exemplary and proficient when comparing student work. Choosing a students understanding of the data they picked as extensive or solid could be a challenge.
I am very interested to see student work and their final projects.