To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Subject: math projects
I have facilitated several math projects over my 16 years of teaching 6th grade math/5th grade. 1) Million Dollar Project: Students have $1 million virtual dollars to spend. They must by a house (btw $400,000-500,000() and buy everything they need to furnish that house, inside and out. Categories are set and they are to find pictures/prices of each item and organize them by category. All purchases are kept on a spread-sheet that they have to write in all the calculations themselves (no computer help- item cost, balance, etc., with a weekly check in and a guide of spending 1/3 of $1 mill. At the end, students create a pie chart of how much was spent in each category and their experiences completing this project. In addition, students write checks (although almost obsolete nowadays)for 10 of the items purchased in each weekly check-in. 2)Design a House. Students design a house on a 8 1/2 x 11 graph paper (approx 1200 sq feet house). Every 1/4 inch equals one foot. Based on basic architectural requirements (a hallway is 3 feet, rooms are 10x10+, doors are 3ft wide, etc) they design their house. Next, students scale their house 50%. Emphasizes area, perimeter, ratio, porportions. then they build walls for their scaled house (8 squares high) and place them as folding tabs. They also figure out the cost of carpet, paint, windows, etc. They write an description of their house in a 3-5 paragraph essay. One of the best projects assigned. Took a lot of time, but it was worth it. 3)Students track their eating habits for 3 days, by tracking what food groups they ate each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, etc.. They do not check how much , but that they ate it. Although, you can have them use their fist as a guide for one serving. You can also go very in depth if they actually calculated the size of their meal, and even the calories they consumed. If they ate a burritos, they would check grains, meat, veggies, dairy. They total the number of servings for each food group and then create a pie chart showing their "balanced" diet. They compare it with the required amount (myplate.org), and write a 5 paragrah analysis of their results, with guided questions.
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