I am a 7th grade math teacher and I was wondering if anyone had some helpful suggestions for pre-algebra projects. I want to have the classroom overflowing with projects during open house. Its never to early to get started. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. John

When I taught it, I had my kids: a) Watch Cyberchase on PBS and do a write-up. (It was a bit too young for them, but fun anyway.) b) "Buy" a house and use I=prt to determine the monthly mortgage payments. (Then I explained that the actual formula involves a number they won't see until high school. But that's OK-- it was good math practice and they got an eye-opener.)

I like to do a short project around exponents that I call "How does a secret grow." It shows exponential growth and requires students to explain how the growth happens. If you PM me your email, I'm happy to send it your way. Later in the year I do a longer project on graphing. db

At my wife's school, the math dept. is required to do a project in which they relate math to life after high school so she does something where they get salaries, but have expenses and all that. They end up making a PowerPoint in which they show the connection between expenses and income and so forth -- and graph it all out. I would explain more, but math is not my strong suit!

We made toothpick bridges in my pre-algebra class years ago. It is the only thing I remember from the entire year... well that and getting my only detention ever. There honestly wasn't much pre-alg content to it. We had to budget costs for materials and then build, that's about it. Sure was fun though.

The do somethng similar in Physics classes. They have specifications for a bridge: maximum weight and size. Then they have a contest to see whose bridge will support the most weight. They have to use the Physics they've learned in order to build the strongest, lightest bridge possible. But I wouldn't assign it in Pre-Algebra. The kids don't know enough math to make it worthwhile.

Could you send it my way? I am not sure what a PM is but if you would let me know I would be very appreciative to receive your project.

Click on db's name in the left upper corner of her post. Several options will come up, including "send a Private Message." That way you can send her your email address without broadcasting it to the entire internet.

I do a couple fo projects. One is a coordinate graphing project, the mathematical coat-of-arms, which involves using their names to generate two columns of letters, which using a code turns into numbers, which they then coordinate graph, connect the dots, and color in. Another is a geometry for dummies book. They make a book with all the formulas they need for areas and volumes, and they get to use it during their test. Also on pi day I do a poster project, where they pick a mathematical topic they like from a list I provide, and make a poster about it. I'd be interested in hearing about other projects, though!