Tracking Investments and Review

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SWBAT: • Find absolute value of rational numbers • Compare absolute values • Plot points on the coordinate plane • Calculate length of horizontal and vertical lines on the coordinate plane

Big Idea

Students continue tracking their investments and apply what they have learned about absolute value to complete group tasks.

Do Now

10 minutes

See my Do Now in my Strategy folder that explains my beginning of class routines.

Often, I create do nows that have problems that connect to the task that students will be working on that day.  Today I want students to review finding the length of a vertical or horizontal line.  Students may struggle because this problem involves the point (-2.5, 5).  If this occurs I remind students to think of a plain number line, what two integers is -2.5 between? 

First I ask a volunteer to explain where points A and B are located.  Then I ask for a volunteer to share out their thinking and answer for each question.  I am interested to hear students’ strategies for finding the length of line AB.

Tracking Your Investments

10 minutes


  • Students began this project with the lesson Absolute Value and Stocks.
  • Students should have Part 1, Part 2a, and Part 2b completed.
  • I create a spreadsheet with the closing stock prices of each company.  I post a number of these around the room for students to use.

I have a volunteer read over the to-do list for this part of the lesson.  I explain that if part 2c is not completed during class it will be additional homework.  I call students by rows to find a Closing Price Spreadsheet around the room.  They copy the closing price of the companies they have invested in on their packet. 

Students work independently with their calculators.  Students are engaging with MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively.  As I walk around, I monitor student progress.  A common mistake is that students find the change in closing price by subtracting day 3 – day 4.  If students do this, I refer them back the practice page to review.  I also ask them if the closing price increased or decreased from day 3 to day 4.  If the closing price increased, does it make sense that the change in price is negative? 

If students successfully complete part 2c, I remind them to read over the rubric and make revisions.  Once they are finished they can work on the Unit 3 Challenge about percent change.  I allow students to use calculators.  This challenge can carry over the next few lessons.

Group Work

35 minutes


  • Before this lesson, I use the ticket to go from the previous lessons (Tracking Stocks and the Coordinate Plane and Tracking Stocks and Distance on the Coordinate Plane) to Create Homogeneous Groups. 
  • I determine what are the most pressing needs of for each of these groups.   If there is a small group that is still struggling with tracking investments or plotting on a coordinate plane, I will meet with them to work with whiteboards.  Groups who are on track will work on the Graphing and Number Line task. These groups can choose which task they would like to start with.  It may save time to fill out the group to do lists before class and have them ready to pass out to students.


I tell students their groups and their assignments.  I have students move to their groups and I have a volunteer pass out materials and Group Work Rubrics.  Students are engaging in MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

If I have a small group that is working on tracking investments or the coordinate plane, every few minutes I walk around the class to monitor student progress and behavior. 

For the Frog on a number line task, a common misconception is that the frogs must jump at the same time or the same number of times.  If this is the case, I ask students to tell me what they know about how the frogs move.  Do the frogs have to jump at the same time?  If one frog jumps twice, does the other frog have to jump twice?

For the Graphing Task, students may struggle plotting points that involve 2.5 as a coordinate.  If this is the case, I have students return to the do now to review their work.  Other common mistakes involve confusing perimeter and area.  If this occurs, I ask group members to explain the difference between perimeter and area.  For problem 2, some students may initially say that it’s not possible to have a square that has a perimeter of 18 units.  They may assume that the side lengths must be whole numbers.  If this is the case, I ask students what is special about squares.  I draw a square that has side lengths of 3.  I ask the group if this square could work.  If needed, I repeat the process by drawing a 3x3 square and a 4x4 square.  If students struggle with calculating with decimals, I give them a calculator to check their work.


5 minutes

For Closure I ask students, “Why is it important that we are comfortable finding absolute values of numbers?”  I want students to connect absolute value with comparing change in share prices and calculating distance on a coordinate plane or number line.

I do not give a ticket to go, but instead I collect student work.  I pass out the HW Tracking Stocks and Review