Unit4, Section3: The Growth of Landfills

Instructional Days: 5

Enduring Understandings

Model Eliciting Activities (MEAs) engage students in a complete modeling experience. MEAs are designed to make students’ thinking visible and audible by encouraging them to be metacognitive about the process of inventing and testing a model, ask questions as they go through the process, and recognize the iterative nature of modeling.


Students will read an excerpt from a CNN article called Trash City: Inside America’s Largest Landfill Site. This article will set the context of the real-world problem facing many cities—the growth of landfills. The article provides background information as well as baseline data to launch the modeling process.

Learning Objectives


According to the California Common Core State Standards-Mathematics (CCSS-M) Framework:

“Modeling links classroom mathematics and statistics to everyday life, work, and decision-making. Modeling is the process of choosing and using appropriate mathematics and statistics to analyze empirical situations, to understand them better, and to improve decisions. Quantities and their relationships in physical, economic, public policy, social, and everyday situations can be modeled using mathematical and statistical methods. When making mathematical models, technology is valuable for varying assumptions, exploring consequences, and comparing predictions with data.

Modeling is best interpreted not as a collection of isolated topics, but rather in relation to other standards. Making mathematical models is a Standard for Mathematical Practice, and specific modeling standards appear throughout the high school standards indicated by a star symbol (★).”

Every Statistics and Probability standard in the California CCSS-M High School Conceptual Category is considered a modeling standard, indicated by the star symbol; therefore, rather than listing every content standard individually, the modeling activities in this section are designed so that students apply the Statistics and Probability standards learned throughout the curriculum.

Focus Standards for Mathematical Practice:

SMP-4: Model with mathematics.

Data Science:

Students will apply the conceptual understandings learned up to this point in the curriculum.

Applied Computational Thinking using RStudio:

• Previous techniques from the curriculum will be used in order to complete the task.

Real-World Connections:

Engineers, data scientists, and statisticians, to name a few, use modeling in their everyday work. Whether it is for creating a scale model of a bridge or a mathematical model of force impact measures, modeling is an integral part of what they do in the real world.

Language Objectives

  1. Students will use complex sentences to construct summary statements about their understanding of data, how it is collected, how it used, and how to work with it.

  2. Students will engage in partner and whole group discussions and presentations to express their understanding of data science concepts.

  3. Students will use complex sentences to write a letter of recommendation that use data science concepts and skills.

  4. Students will read informative texts to evaluate claims based on data.

Data File or Data Collection Method

Data File:

  1. Trash: data (trash)

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