Cover Page

Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 9-12

Judith A. Muschla

Gary Robert Muschla

Erin Muschla-Berry


Title Page

Other Math Books by the Muschlas

About this Book

The Common Core State Standards Initiative for Mathematics identifies the concepts, skills, and practices that students should understand and apply at their grade level. Mastery of these Standards at the high school level will enable students to move on to higher education and careers successfully.

Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 9–12 offers a variety of activities that support instruction of the Standards that should be addressed in the typical high school math curriculum. (Please note that Standards designated with a + represent skills students should master to take advanced mathematics courses and lie outside the scope of this book.) The table of contents, which contains a list of the included Standards and supporting activities, is divided into five sections:

Each section is divided into two major parts: the first part contains the Standards and teacher's notes for the activities and the second part contains reproducibles that enhance the activities. The activities and reproducibles are labeled according to the numbers of the Standards.

The book is designed for easy implementation. The first part of each section is organized according to Domains, followed by specific Standards and activities. The activities build on concepts and skills that you have already taught and expand the scope of your instruction through reinforcement and enrichment. Each activity includes a brief summary, special materials needed for the activity, and any special preparation that is necessary. Icons highlight activities that include cooperative learning, image, or that incorporate the use of technology, image. All of the activities include specific steps for implementation, and many include reproducibles.

The typical activity can be completed in one class period and focuses on application of concepts or skills, demonstration of understanding, or communication about math. Students may be required to solve problems; create mathematical models, charts, and graphs; conduct investigations with both physical and virtual manipulatives; play mathematical games; and write problems and explanations. Although many of the activities are open-ended, answer keys are provided for those that require specific answers.

Because many of the activities may be developed through various methods, we encourage you to modify them in ways that best meet the needs of your students. For example, for some activities in which we suggest that students work in pairs or groups of three, you may feel that your students will gain the most from the activity by working individually. Conversely, for some activities, rather than having students work individually, you may find it more practical to have them work with a partner. For other activities, you may prefer to divide an activity into parts and implement the parts at different times, based on your curriculum and what is best for your students. Always present each activity in a manner that satisfies your objectives and is appropriate for the capabilities of your students.

A note on modeling: modeling is an important area in mathematics and a topic of the high school Standards. Because modeling is interpreted best in relation to other Standards, many activities in this book incorporate modeling in conjunction with other skills.

To enhance your instruction of the activities, consider the following:

We hope that the activities in this resource prove to be both interesting and enjoyable for you and your students, and that the activities help your students master the concepts and skills addressed by the Standards. We extend to you our best wishes for a successful and rewarding year.

Judith A. Muschla
Gary Robert Muschla
Erin Muschla-Berry

About the Authors

Judith A. Muschla received her BA in Mathematics from Douglass College at Rutgers University and is certified to teach K–12. She taught mathematics in South River, New Jersey, for over twenty-five years at various levels at both South River High School and South River Middle School. She wrote several math curriculums and conducted mathematics workshops for teachers and parents.

Together, Judith and Gary Muschla have coauthored several math books published by Jossey-Bass: Hands-On Math Projects with Real-Life Applications, Grades 3–5 (2009); The Math Teacher's Problem-a-Day, Grades 4–8 (2008); Hands-On Math Projects with Real-Life Applications, Grades 6–12 (1996; second edition, 2006); The Math Teacher's Book of Lists (1995; second edition, 2005); Math Games: 180 Reproducible Activities to Motivate, Excite, and Challenge Students, Grades 6–12 (2004); Algebra Teacher's Activities Kit (2003); Math Smart! Over 220 Ready-to-Use Activities to Motivate and Challenge Students, Grades 6–12 (2002); Geometry Teacher's Activities Kit (2000); and Math Starters! 5- to 10-Minute Activities to Make Kids Think, Grades 6–12 (1999).

Gary Robert Muschla received his BA and MAT from Trenton State College and taught in Spotswood, New Jersey, for more than twenty-five years. In addition to math resources, he has written several resources for English and writing teachers, among them Writing Workshop Survival Kit (1993; second edition, 2005); The Writing Teacher's Book of Lists (1991; second edition, 2004); Ready-to Use Reading Proficiency Lessons and Activities, 10th Grade Level (2003); Ready-to-Use Reading Proficiency Lessons and Activities, 8th Grade Level (2002); Ready-to-Use Reading Proficiency Lessons and Activities, 4th Grade Level (2002); Reading Workshop Survival Kit (1997); and English Teacher's Great Books Activities Kit (1994), all published by Jossey-Bass.

Erin Muschla-Berry received her BS and MEd from The College of New Jersey. She is certified to teach grades K–8 with Mathematics Specialization in Grades 5–8. She currently teaches math at Monroe Township Middle School in Monroe, New Jersey, and has presented workshops for math teachers for the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey. She has coauthored seven books with Judith and Gary Muschla for Jossey-Bass: Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades K–2 (2014); Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 3–5 (2014); Math Starters, 2nd Edition: 5- to 10-Minute Activities Aligned with the Common Core Standards, Grades 6–12 (2013); Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 6–8 (2012); The Algebra Teacher's Guide to Reteaching Essential Concepts and Skills (2011); The Elementary Teacher's Book of Lists (2010); and Math Teacher's Survival Guide, Grades 5–12 (2010).


We thank Chari Chanley, EdS, principal of Monroe Township Middle School; James Higgins, vice principal of Monroe Township Middle School; and Scott Sidler, vice principal of Monroe Township Middle School, for their support.

We also thank Kate Bradford, our editor at Jossey-Bass, for her guidance as we developed this book. And our thanks to Mark Karmendy, our production editor, for steering this book through the production process.

Our special thanks to Diane Turso for proofreading this book as she has done for so many of our previous books.

We appreciate the support of our many colleagues who have encouraged us in our work over the years.

And we wish to acknowledge the many students we have had the satisfaction of teaching.