Math Projects to Complete in a Grades 3-5 Classroom

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ms.Jasztal, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I will begin with very LONG time, no talk. :)

    I have a question for everyone, and I need your input, if possible. Next year's math standards in Florida are quite simplified. We are spending quite some time on multiplication recall and even the most basic of multiplication, and in advanced fourth grade, that's not completely feasible. Of course they will learn what they have to, but probably most of the students are already beyond it. What are some hands-on math projects we can complete in class for a few days at a time? Here are some examples of those I already came up with, but I need more:

    Menus:
    Students will be working on another two-day lesson where they will develop a menu for a restaurant they are opening. They will look at menus from various restaurants to guide them in the right direction, and they will be coming up with illustrations as well as descriptions. They should develop at least fifteen entrees, five appetizers, and five desserts. They will then come up with ten imaginary “families” who visit their restaurant and order off their menu, and they will show what each family spends.

    Camp Math:
    Students will "order" items for a camping trip, make a schedule for camp, complete money questions about eating in a dining hall at camp, and more. Oh, they will also make trail mix using fractions and measurement.

    They will also compare their "wingspans", heights, etc. to animals as well as complete a lot of survey questions (a weekly "Daily Data" question that we still need to do, despite the fact it is not in these simplified standards at all).

    Florida teachers likely understand. It is easier for the students, but it is more complicated, too, for the teacher.

    I need math projects that involve (not limited to, though): shopping, cooking, traveling, sports, environment, geology, space, human body, etc.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Decorate their bedroom--paint, floor covering, window coverings, furniture, etc. They could create a design board and a scale drawing or model.
     
  4. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    That's a really good one! Anything. If we have to spend a VERY long time on multiplication and FCAT has been pushed back to April, I need a lot of hands-on, interesting assignments to keep my advanced class occupied. :)
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here's one I did with my grade 6s a few years ago around holiday season. Each student received a "shopping list" with parameters (For example: Choose a gift for your mother; you can spend up to $100.00. Choose gifts for your 2 best friends; you can spend a total of $30.00. Choose food for a special dinner; you can spend up to $75.00. Buy 3 gifts to donate to the Toy Drive; you can spend up to $20.00 for each gift) The students went through catalogues and flyers and did their "shopping", completing a chart to indicate what stores they were shopping at, what they were purchasing and the total purchase amount (including taxes).
     
  6. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Very good!!! :) I appreciate your ideas... a lot.
     
  7. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Have you checked out Marilyn Burns lessons?
     
  8. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I have. Does she have projects that last a few days? I've seen games and journaling ideas, mainly, over time.

    EDIT: I am now at the lessons site... this must be it: http://www.mathsolutions.com/index.cfm?page=wp9&crid=122

    Have people here done something from her site before?
     
  9. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    We did one where the students built a zoo. They had to measure out perimeter and area (a fourth-grade math skill here), build the zoo, buy animals, pay employees, etc.

    It can be modified to build anything or to run a business.
     
  10. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I had my tutoring kids this summer plan a "lemonade" stand.

    They went through the grocery ads to choose what they would sell at their stands (gatorade, fruit, etc).

    Figured out the unit price, how much $$ they would need to purchase supplies, what they would sell each item for, and total profit.

    It was a lot of fun!
     
  11. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Thanks!!! I really like all the ideas I have read so far. Keep sharing... please. It is going to be a challenge to get my advanced students engaged every day with the few standards we have to cover. I will really have to go DEEP. I am looking forward to having them apply their learning more to real-life situations.

    Are there any websites with ideas like these, also? I copied and pasted a few of the Marilyn Burns ideas in my Word document of plans for the first half of the year. I hope to find a lot of ideas, and it will help everyone else as well on here who wants to go "deeper" in math class.
     
  12. Love to Teach

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    http://www.pbs.org/teachers/classroom/3-5/math/resources/
    I have found great lessons here. Use the filter to choose topic and type of activity. If you choose Lesson Plan, there are some really great extended lessons.

    http://www.aimsedu.org/Activities/middle.html
    These have a fee, but they offer free ones, and if you sign up for their newsletter, they send out links to free ones each month, I think. :)

    http://www.thinkfinity.org/
    http://illuminations.nctm.org/
    This an amazing wealth of resources. Illuminations is one of the sponsor partners within the Thinkfinity network.

    http://stem.discoveryeducation.com/
    Not as familiar with this one, but looks to have great resources.

    Hope these help. :)
     
  13. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    PS...Ms.Jasztal, it has been too long a time!! :) How did your year at Scholastic go...will you do it again this year?! :) So good to see you here again! :)
     
  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    The year at Scholastic went very well, and no, I will not be posting on there next year, though I am starting a weblog. :)

    http://www.jasztalville.net/weblog

    I'll talk about it more in a few weeks. Thanks SO much for the math resources.
     
  15. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Use graph paper and block lettering: find the area and perimeter of your initials.

    Take advantage of fall baseball (professional): make line graphs of favorite teams, compare batting averages of players, do something with fan attendance and prices at concession stands.

    Plan a trip and calculate mileage, figure out how much gas will cost, etc.

    There are lots of great math games.
     
  16. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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  17. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Thanks again! I am just going to try to incorporate a lot of smaller games (Laura Candler's website has them, also), group participation activities, and of course, the math projects.

    Yes, the new math standards cover much, much less. I think it's a very good thing for the special ed. students, and I would have been able to be a more effective teacher for them when I was the intervention math teacher for three years. It's just very, very difficult for students on a higher level.
     
  18. Love to Teach

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    http://nrich.maths.org/6840?setlocale=en_US


    These are free posters to download, each with a math challenge on it. They seem to be an assortment of all different levels from elementary to high school, and seem to be quite challenging! :) Looks to be a great site, though, especially for upper math levels.
     
  19. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Really NEAT, Love to Teach!!
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    These look great! I'm going to do a weekly challenge/brainteaser for our grade 7 and 8 students next year--this will be a great resource.
     
  21. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    My state will be doing something the same thing this year. I've done more menu's, leveled work this past year than in the past, and have experienced great results. So I loved what you're doing.

    Of the 18 kids in my math class this year, only ONE didn't pass! It was the first year that I've really been happy with my scores.

    I second Marilyn Burns as a great resource.
     
  22. LMT

    LMT Rookie

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    For 5th grade students, I had them plan a five day vacation for entire family . (However, I had kids on a 2nd grade level able to do it on a smaller scale) I gave them $5000 to use and they had to keep track of food expenses, cost of gas, lodging, activities, etc.

    I've got it REALLY broken down piece by piece if you care to see it.

    It took us several weeks (and a lot of patience), but it was a good math project and the students enjoyed it.
     
  23. teacher12345

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    what about doing a project on a number, each student can pick a number and they have to make a poster/book/or powerpoint about the number and why they choose the number, along with some facts, pictures of items that come in that number.

    For example:
    36:
    It is an even number.
    it is a square root.
    6 times 6 is 36.
    18 times 2 is 36.
    3 times 12 is 36.
    4 times 9 is 36.
    factors and what is is divisable by: etc.

    you could also do a 100% me project. The students have to put characteristics about themselves into percentages but the final total must add up to 100. for example:
    100% me!
    10% helpful
    3% creative
    32% kind
    5% cheerleader
    16% likes to play video games
    4% caring
    10% likes to ride my bike
    5% cat lover
    10% horseback rider
    5% good at math
    I am 100% me!

    all of the projects could be put into a book at the end of the year.
     
  24. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Good stuff! LMT, I would not mind seeing your instructions at all. :)
     
  25. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    This is a cute back to school, getting to know you activity. Mind if I share it on my math website?
     
  26. LMT

    LMT Rookie

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    I've got to search through all of my thumb drives to find it (moving schools so I copied EVERYTHING!!)

    Will send it to you ASAP! :)
     
  27. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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    nope don't mind at all!
     
  28. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I appreciate it, y'all! :) I am coming up with some extra activities as well. It's just taking a lot of thought because a lot of time will be on my hands to review specific strategies this year. It will be all right, though.
     
  29. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Ms. Jasztal, be sure to share all of your great ideas on your website!!! :)
     
  30. Scout About

    Scout About Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2010

    At the end of last year, we did the Measurement Olympics (3rd grade). It was a great review of many of the measurement skills they learned earlier in the year. There were eight different stations that each group of kids rotated through, and each of the games had an Olympic-type name. For example, one of the games involved a balance and marbles. They had to estimate the mass of one handful of marbles. Then they put the marbles on the balance to find the actual mass. They used subtraction to find the difference between their estimate and the actual answer. After completing all eight stations, they added up the total of the differences (between their estimates and the actual answers). The student with the smallest different won the Gold Medal, etc. I think the instructions and recording sheet came from an AIMS book. It was really fun, and I think it could work if you modified it for your 4th graders.
     
  31. MsSci4

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    What about a travel project? They could take a tour of a region, calculate airfare and hotel fees. Then there's a lot they can do with converting currency. They could measure distances on Google Earth using the ruler tool. Also they can change the units... it's quite funny to see how many inches it is to London.

    Can you give them an Academic Choice project?
     
  32. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 22, 2010

    I forgot about this post! Thanks, everyone. I will share the ideas on my website, and I already have on my weblog. Keep sharing. I decided I am doing math workshop twice a week, and then the other days, I will teach the required lessons as well as do the extension experiments. :)
     

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