Cell Phone Usage Lesson Plan

Class: Algebra II

Topic: Systems of Linear Equations

Teacher: Ms. Hill

The student will be able to formulate a linear equation for each plan by writing the equation in slope intercept form.

The student will be able to locate the solution of the graph of a system of equations by labeling the point of intersection.

The student will be able to operate a graphing calculator to graph the equations and find intersect point by using the graphing and intersection tools.

The student will be able to compare and contrast cell phone plans by using a graph to represent the cost over time.

The student will be able to defend their choice in plan by creating a persuasive presentation.

Anticipatory Set
Students will be asked to bring cell phones to class. Then asked to look up their monthly text and voice usage. Keynote slide show posing the problem will be shown.

Guided Practice
As a class the brainstorming session will take place first. The format for brainstorming will be brain writing. Groups of 4 students all write all the problems they can think of on a paper for 5 minutes then the paper is passed and they write more ideas for 5 minutes. This continues until each group has written on every paper. These group papers will then be compiled on a list on the SmartBoard for groups to reference throughout the project. Examples: choose provider, find plans, texting, voice, data, how to write equation, how to graph

Independent Practice
Students will work in groups to investigate the problems the class brainstormed (problem-solving step 2) and possibly come up with new problems they need to solve. Students will then research solutions to the problems using their cell phones, provider websites, or experts (problem-solving step 3). During independent group work time the teacher will circulate the each group to answer questions and to ask questions to guide inquiry and encourage deep thinking by having students explain why they need to answer the problems and why they solved it they way they did.

Check for Understanding
The class will reconvene and selected groups will share their progress so far. Groups will be selected by the teacher. At least one group will have a very clear understanding of what problems need to be solved and how to solve them. One group will be on track but have questions on how to complete one part or another. And one group may have many problems to solve without clear understanding of how to solve them. All students can learn from these groups successes or failures. Through these preliminary presentations, off track students can gain insight to a direction to solve the problems, and students who are on track may find a problem they have not thought of. Although groups are presenting, this is a time for students to ask questions, think aloud, and talk through their understanding.

Independent Practice
Students will continue in their groups to solve the problems identified earlier during brainstorming and anything they learned from the preliminary presentations.

Guided Practice
Class will come together one more time to brainstorm what information needs to be included in the persuasive presentation. This brainstorming session will be a whole class session where the class may make a mind map or a numbered list of items that need to be included. Examples: name of provider, plans available, personal usage, equations, graphs, explanation of why you need one plan over another.

Independent Practice
Students will continue in groups to create their persuasive presentation (problem-solving step 4). Groups will complete a persuasive presentation.

Students will share their proposals with the class through a presentation (problem-solving step 5). Students will also act as critics, helping me choose which group gave the most complete, accurate, persuasive, and interesting presentation (problem-solving step 6).


Intro slideshow, computers connected to internet, Wikispace, presentation tools (PowerPoint, Vuvox, Prezi, Keynote), SmartBoard, graphing calculators

5 days
Day 1: Intro to problem, class brainstorming, group work time to generate possible solutions
Day 2: Informal presentations of progress so far, groups create presentation
Day 3: Groups finalize presentations
Day 4: Presentation day
Day 5: Presentation day

Teacher Notes: Research Info
General Question:
What are the observed behaviors and reported experiences of 11th grade Algebra II students when implementing problem-based learning?
Specific Questions:
  • What are the effects of problem-based learning on students' ability to think for themselves?
  • What are the effects of problem-based learning on students' understanding math's purpose?
  • What are the effects of problem-based learning on students' written communication skills?

Throughout the brainstorming sessions and independent practice students will develop their problem-solving ability and ability to think for themselves. A main goal for implementing PBL is to encourage students to be curious and seek out answers for their questions, instead of waiting to be spoon feed the process and answer. This cell phone plan comparison is a relevant consumer practice thus encouraging students to see that educated decisions can be made based in math and growing a further understanding of math’s purpose for my students. Finally, with each presentation, I anticipate students gaining an understanding for clear communication about their problem-solving and mathematical processes.