What kind of math project could you build based on the shrinking dimensions of seats on the Boeing 777?
Sometimes I find authentic data, but it doesn’t necessarily have an obvious conflict. The measurements of the Great Pyramid are cool, but where’s the conflict? What draws students in if they’re not inherently interested in pyramids?
As a teenager, I loved monitoring the weekend’s box office results. This kind of data is exciting, oozing with built in conflict. It sets up questions that require math to answer.
Let’s develop a math project to challenge students who have demonstrated a mastery of multiplication and are ready to explore its applications. We’ll count the parking spaces in the Disneyland parking structure!
In a previous post, we discussed traits of quality pre-assessment. Here are three documents to help you make pre-assessment easier: a parent letter, a daily work log, and a rubric for grading project presentations.
Many times, as teachers of gifted students, our biggest need is materials designed for our most advanced learners. Frequently, we need to provide them with in-depth, independent work. Our textbooks, however, never cater to this population. We’re left to develop our own projects, which may take weeks to prepare and years to tweak.
If you’re attempted to differentiate your math program through preassessment, I’m sure you’ve stumbled across students who have already demonstrated mastery of an upcoming unit. Typically, we try to come up with something deep and meaningful for these students to work on while we instruct the class. This, however, is a tricky problem with no simple solution.
Starting with an IKEA catalog, a hotel furnishing math project was born. Use this project as a tool to differentiate your math instruction and impart some practical knowledge on your students.
At our school, 6th graders participate in an annual egg drop. To increase the rigor, I looked for unique scientific roles and came up with three: designing a parachute to slow the egg’s descent, testing materials to pack inside the structure, and developing the structure itself. Each of these roles will be developed into a scientific discipline.