If you’ve visited my website before, you know I’m all about real-world math projects that come straight from my classroom. Today, I’m pulling back the curtain to reveal my process of creating these projects from the beginning to the end. That’s right, I’ll explain my FIVE “must haves” for designing math projects. This blog post is your access to fresh ideas and handy tools, so you can create your own math projects for your classroom! Let the creativity begin…
If you want ALL the Math Project Must Have details via video and download the FREE notes and example project, CLICK HERE.
Real World Connection
Why does this matter? By exploring the common question of “how does math apply to real life?”, we are naturally unlocking student interest. Connecting the math they are learning to everyday situations makes it easier for them to understand and keeps students engaged because it’s relatable.
Plus, real-world projects are training for the future. When students create projects that mirror actual situations they might encounter later in life, they are getting a sneak peek into the challenges and problem-solving they’ll face.
Why do students need this? Knowing the objectives and directions for a math project is like having a roadmap for a journey. It gives students a clear sense of what needs to be done and the knowledge and skills they will demonstrate along the way.
Objectives – helps students grasp the purpose of the project
Directions – act as a guide, explaining the steps to take to complete the project
Alignment – ensures that the project accurately matches your standards
A handout not only helps students stay organized, but also keeps them focused on the key aspects and assists them to work more efficiently.
What’s the purpose of this? A rubric breaks the project down into bight-sized pieces, making it easier to understand the expectations and levels of proficiency. It also allows you to weight different aspects of the project by importance.
You may be wondering if having an example project is really necessary? The answer is a resounding YES! Let me explain why. I was filling in for another teacher and the students were starting a new project. Quite a few of them wished they had an example to look at, so they knew what a finished project would look like. That got me thinking–this visual aid is gold for students, perhaps even more important than the rubric.
I’ve always made it a point to include an example project for my students because, let’s face it, student directions and a rubric don’t always paint a full picture. A visual example though? Now that’s the game-changer students need to create an amazing project.
Let’s face it, answer keys are the holy grail for math teachers for efficiency and making grading student work a breeze. It’s also crucial to be able to check students’ answers as they work through a project.
Designing projects that facilitate unique answers for every student is my goal, however, this makes it tricky to create an answer key. I have a few tips on how to easily create answer keys that can be used to quickly type in each student’s unique answer to see if they are correct.
I’ve revealed my FIVE key elements for creating a quality math project and why they’re game changers. Are you excited to learn HOW you can add all of these elements into your own projects? Mathtastic! I’ve got a FREE video session and downloadable handouts waiting for you, so you can take your projects to the next level! Let’s make learning math a whole lot more exciting!
Don’t have time to make your own math projects? I totally understand, that's why I've got you covered! Check out my favorite real world math projects by clicking on this image:
Let’s talk math projects….
As a teacher, I love to implement projects into as many units of study as possible. Projects can push students to use a higher level of thinking, because often, projects include more creativity, application, evaluation and analyzation than the average assignment or activity. This is a great way for us, as teachers, to see that students’ have the capability to expand upon their skill set.
Students also enjoy doing something outside the normal lesson. Projects can give students’ choice, which can boost their engagement and motivation, allow them to capitalize on their interests and strengths, and enable them to meet their individual learning needs.
Projects are a teacher and student win-win! Therefore, my math friends and I want to share with you some of our FAVORITE math projects that you can use in your classroom!
Let’s start with the projects I use in my classroom…
Students ALWAYS ask how will we use this math in the real-world?! Therefore, I create projects that have students use their math skills in real-world scenarios. They're also perfect for a summative assessment at the end of a unit OR integrated within a unit. Either way, you are answering that forever dreaded question of how math is used in real life! Read about some of the projects I’ve created for my students:
– Kacie Travis, The Efficient Classroom
Looking for a way to assess or reinforce what your Geometry students have learned? This project combines Geometry with the craze of “The Selfie!” It assesses the student's ability to apply Geometry concepts to the real world with a fun, highly relevant spin!
Design a Game Show Using Probability
- Rise Over Run
Students use what they know about probability to create their own game show. They can get creative and even test out their games! Instructions are included to guide students in designing a game based on a simple event, designing a game based on a compound event, explaining the probabilities of winning, and choosing prizes based on a budget and probabilities of winning.
Math is Everywhere Project
– Middle School Math Man
Get students thinking about how they see math in the real world with this Math is Everywhere Project. Students combine art and math to create a tile that shows how they see math outside of the classroom. These make an amazing bulletin board display!
STATIONS MAZE from Mrs. E Teaches Math – Stations mazes are great because they get students up and moving around the room. They also encourage students to check their work carefully since an incorrect answer will eventually send them back to a problem they have already solved. A digital version is included for absent students.
BOOM CARDS from Kate's Math Lessons – Your students will LOVE getting instant feedback with these digital task cards! In a nutshell, Boom Cards are interactive, self-checking activities. Students are shown one question at a time and get immediate feedback on their answers. Boom Cards can also be printed if you prefer paper task cards for stations, games, or scavenger hunts. Read more about these activities HERE.
MINI MYSTERIES from Lauren Fulton –Who doesn’t love a good mystery? With Mini Mysteries, students use standards-based math problems to solve murder mysteries! Each mystery comes with a mystery story, clue sheet (AKA, math problems that don’t feel like math problems), and a class set of suspect cards. As students work their way through the clue sheet, they narrow down the suspect list to find the guilty suspect! Print & digital versions come in each set.
OLD MATH GUY from Free to Discover - Engage your math students in interactive matching activities TWO different ways! Students play Old Math Guy (think Old Maid) in small groups. “Matches” are mathematical matches between 2 cards (ie 2(x+4) and 2x+8). Need a digital solution? The same cards can be used to complete an individual drag-n-drop practice activity in Google Slides.
PRINT AND DIGITAL MATH PUZZLES from Scaffolded Math and Science – Each set of math puzzles comes in both print and digital form. The digital versions are drag-and-drop in GOOGLE Slides. The puzzles make for engaging classwork, station activities, partner work and review.
What’s included in the project?
EVERYTHING included in this project is 100% editable! So, you can adjust to fit your curriculum needs.
I'm an educational blogger and curriculum designer. I am enthusiastic about providing creative, comprehensive, and clear resources for middle and high school math teachers. My goal is to create content that is easy to implement for the teacher, and helps students Connect Knowledge with Understanding - One Lesson at a Time.