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. Student Handout 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. Rubric 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. Example 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. Answer Key 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:
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Looking to Solve Quadratics?
Looking to Analyze Quadratic Graphs?
Looking for Real World Applications?Real World Projects and Applications by Algebra and Beyond Connecting quadratic concepts to real life really helps students understand how and why we learn about quadratics. You can do this in the form of a project or a handout with real world scenarios.
I hope these activities help your students practice and review quadratics!!!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: MORE PROJECTS |
Selfieometry – 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! |
MATHBOOK ACTIVITIES Mathbook’s design is similar to a Facebook post. Even if a student doesn’t use Facebook, this activity is engaging and fun for everyone! My students really like picking out their icons because it gives the activity a personal touch that most math activities do not offer. Also, receiving feedback from a peer helps create a positive classroom environment. |
iSTEP ACTIVITIES Often students can solve a math equation, but have a difficult time verbally explaining what they are doing. This activity addresses this problem. Each student is to “text” with a friend who needs help with a math concept. Their classmate asks how to solve an equation and the student has to explain each step needed in order to get a solution. I LOVE how these activities have transformed how students think and discuss math in class!!! |
ERRORGRAM ACTIVITIES Error analysis is a method used to identify common mistakes made in mathematics and the cause of the incorrect answer. According to Robert Marzano, error analysis is at the top of the higher level thinking skills and an aid in conceptual understanding. This ability to check for correctness is a big key to achieving math proficiency. It’s awesome to see the critical thinking that happens during these activities! |
DOODLR ACTIVITIES Making connections! Sometimes students can best understand concepts when they connect visual graphs, symbols, etc. with words. This activity gives students the opportunity to do just that in a creative and fun way. If your students already love doodle notes, then they for sure will love this activity! Students are able to let their creative side shine in this activity. |
5 Pillars of Math Intervention That Works – Amanda Nix, Free to Discover Not only are Math Skill Drills awesome for math intervention, they are the perfect way to meaningfully fill time - especially for early finishers. When students finish an assessment or assignment, prompt them to pull out their Skill Drill and squeeze in some practice! |
Skill-Building Equation Puzzles – Math Giraffe This set of challenge equation puzzles offers a fun approach to building problem-solving and algebra skills. You can also use these when teaching substitution or the transitive property. They are designed to help students build skills needed for solving systems of equations, even if they have never heard of systems before! They will be using substitution and the transitive property mentally, whether they know it or not. |
Geometry Vocabulary Word Search Activities – Kacie Travis, The Efficient Classroom Learning vocabulary is such an important part of learning geometry. These word search activities increase students' familiarity with the vocabulary words in a fun way! They are the perfect activity to distribute after a unit test, to early finishers, or for sub lesson plans. |
Mystery Graphs with Multiple Math Skills – Rise Over Run Students always love coordinate graph pictures! Instead of just practicing plot ordered pairs, why not incorporate other math skills as well? With these mystery graphs, students must first work out math problems to get their points. Then they graph them to reveal a picture. |
It is okay to provide a brain break for early finishers – Damman's Algebra room Planning for instruction that’s fun for your students (and you) doesn’t HAVE to be hard. In fact, it SHOULDN’T be. Collect and finds are a a double win! They are done for you and keep the early finishers occupied so you can focus on those who need more help. 🎉 Here is a free Collect and Find so you can see what they are all about. I promise, you will not be disappointed. |
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.
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