I want to send you a note to let you know literally EVERY file in my store has been updated. To conclude my series of cool websites with an emphasis on global connections, I end with one that encourages students to put their knowledge to use and take action on an issue. Skype in the Classroom is an extension of the popular mainstream internet based communication tool. I believe that three key elements need to be in place for a super strong math project or lesson. Of course there is not necessarily an Authentic Real World project for each math topic you teach. A brand-new collection of 10 engaging, student approved 21st Century Math Projects that provide rigor, relevance, and cross-curricular content altogether. To continue with the theme of globally connected learning opportunities, today I highlight another interesting site, ePals Global Community. In a previous entry, I highlighted iEARN as a useful tool to connect your students to the world.
My first time implementing the egg drop project was as a 9th Grade Algebra 1 teacher in collaboration with the Physical Science Teacher.
I have also successfully invented local engineers to come, build and bounce ideas with the students.
So there you have it, the first of many 21st Century Math Projects that I will share on this site. A pure real world  21st Century Math Project  that can work for a lot of different ages! Feverishly writing and researching I've added quite a few products to the popular CSI collection!
Would you like to have students debate a problem, brainstorm a solution, or teach in a creative an interactive way?
Students are able to select from a cadre of pre-made character, animate the movements with a simple interface and write the dialogue for the characters to speak. Obviously without mathematical relevancy, this could end up being one fun complete waste of time. In this 18 page document you will be given a mapping to the Content Standards, an outline for how to implement the project, handout resources for students to use, and an answer key. Bring the 2012 Election into your classroom with a few authentic challenges that will push your students citizenship and build Election vocabulary across contents! Please stay tuned for the next bonobo focused 21st Century Math Project in development. It’s silly, but adding relevant clipart, using different text AND making a piece of paper look cooler does affect the perception of the assignment.
In terms of structure, this assignment will likely be different than anything a student has done before.
The assignment will start with students coming up with the name of a mathematical song and sketch an album cover (I give this as homework the night before). EXTENSION: Taking this another step could be to encourage your students to actually record the music (Audacity is great and free). CSI: Algebra -- the Complete eBook is a collection of nine different algebraically inspired mathematical puzzles with a little international pizazz. I mapped the puzzles to the curriculum in the widely used Glencoe Algebra 1, although in my experience most Algebra 1 books line up pretty much the same. Forget everything you remember about learning math: the endless repetition, the difficult to understand terms, the mind numbing memorization. As a result some students begin a downward spiral in their grasp of math as the inability to assimilate more advanced concepts leaves them foundering. Fortunately, a proven concept has emerged which helps struggling math students get back on their feet and begin enjoying math again, generating confidence and self esteem which comes with proficiency in the subject. Mathnasium takes time with a new student to evaluate and understand their strengths and weaknesses, utilizing Mathnasium’s tools developed and refined by experience. At the Blue Ash, Mason, and West Chester locations of Mathnasium in Greater Cincinnati, math is the only subject which is tutored. Of course some of my "more advanced" projects might be perfect for your middle school students and of course things can be modified. Currently nearly 50,000 teachers and 2,400 lessons are available on Skype and with a little something for all content areas. Through interacting, asking and answering questions students are asked to figure out where in the world they are and learn about another culture.


These are primarily aimed at Algebra 1 Geometry, Algebra II and PreCalculus content, but provide opportunities for enrichment and remediation at all levels!
This one may be more literacy focused, but if students develop relationships across the globe, perhaps they share similar math experiences. If you are going to do it, tracking Flat Stanley's journey and calculating miles traveled could be interesting. Of course I did not invent the idea of an Egg Drop Competition, but built a set of math questions and assignments around it to make it more authentic and rigorous for a math classroom.
The goal was to create a STEM project that would engage students while capping off our first quarter's worth of curriculum. In order to have a store stocked with supplies, I've spent between $10-20 on random stuff to use to build, but I work in schools where students can bring very little.
I have successfully contacted the local Fire Department and they brought out their biggest truck lift for the Grand Finale.
Xtranormal is a great option for letting students explore their creative side and verbalizing their understanding in a middle of high school project. Extending beyond the math classroom, you could perhaps find it as a more relevant tool in another subject area. The "Academic" GPA is the measurement that many colleges use which eliminates arts and elective classes from the equation.
My new readers have been pushing me to do something for the upcoming election and I have tried to fill their need with some mathematical goodness in the form of a new 21st Century Math Project. Here is the challenge math teachers… student choice and chance is at the fulcrum of this exercise so it is likely that no two students will have the same results. A teacher will likely need to be very clear with directions and possibly guide students through a hypothetical example before each part of the assignment.
Based on the awesomeness, of their song name and album, you will give students different start-up costs. Based on the decisions the day before, there is a revenue benefit but this varies greatly on luck. Students will have a random multiplier applied to their slope and will rework their equations to find a new break-even point.
I have simply ended it after the assignment was complete and on another occasion I added a presentation component. Teachers have an option of having student present their evidence in front of a jury of their peers.
Apparently this a political-butt-kiss-person-and-then-butt-kiss-this-other-person type of thing.
I pick a chapter of topics from a textbook, find a world region that fits the themes from that chapter, research that world region for interesting authentic problem, create cool, interesting authentic problems (and my soul doesn’t allow me to duplicate problem types! You also understood that big things could be broken down into smaller parts, then put back together again. Many times this intuitive gift is convoluted and distorted by drills and rote practices and procedures which comprise much of math education, leaving a student confused and unsure of his ability to learn. Worse, the problem has a tendency to compound, much like continuing to add floors to a building with a weak foundation. The goal is to transform the way the student thinks about math, often changing the way they view math for the rest of their lives.
Focusing on grades K-12, Mathnasium employs time tested methods in math tutoring designed to enable your child to first catch up, then keep up, and ultimately become inspired to get ahead in math. Asking students to keep cost and revenue records lends to systems of equations and projecting future costs or revenue connects with modeling, patterns and regression. If there is a hearty balance of these three things in my experience that's when I bring the learning to the next level. Included alongside all the essential elements that will make your Egg Drop Contest a success, I have wrote a pair of follow-up activities that can actually be used whether or not you actually do an egg drop. There is a free version of the program on the web, but like many other services they have more elaborate pay options. Obviously this isn’t necessarily the most rigorous project option, but it certain can be engaging.
They are assess the goals of fictional students and determine the grades they will need to reach them. In this project, students will set goals for the senior years of four different characters to help them achieve their goals. I wrote this project so that it'd fit equally well in a Middle School or High School classroom.


Many teachers have students write and perform math songs, and often this might be fun, but not very mathematically rigorous. They all have to be different), the puzzles have to solve to a cryptic text message, I have to draw funny faces and necessary sketches and then I have to write attempt-at-an-amusing criminal narrative to tie it all together and add swagg. These six mystery variables will be used to decode a cryptic text message and if everything is correct, the result will match one of the six suspects. The idea of connecting with a "sister" classroom across the world that is doing similar things is also very intriguing and can better connect students to the world around them! These assignments hammer home the math skills taught in the lesson and serve as a stand-alone or follow-up activities. I’d be more likely to perhaps spend one day in a computer lab and assign it as homework for over a weekend.
Also at times, I like students to conclude a math project with some sort of analysis presentation whether it be a PSA or a jury trial. Students dig deep in their backpacks, bake a dozen cookies to schmooze a teacher and turn in as many missing assignments as possible before the final bell.
For instance if a 21st Century Math Project needs me to draw a bonobo, I can find the best looking monkey image on the site and can use Inkscape to tweak it to make it look like my perfect swaggalicious bonobo. Layered with literacy practice, students will make choices within a budget that will affect the cost and revenue of their album.
Students attempt to break-even with their record and become profitable in the least amount of time. The genesis of this project was from my childhood enjoyment from Choose Your Own Adventure Books. Students will use this revenue equation to determine when they will break-even on their project.
If I were to do it again I would have small groups present to each other, nominate a top presenter and then have them present to the whole class. The basics are the foundations of mathematics, and once the student has a deep intuitive sense of the basics, they are able to tackle and solve problems by thinking and using their well tuned math instincts.
A testimonial of third grade teacher shares who she has brought her classroom to China, Italy, New Zealand, Brazil, England, Albania, Israel and India with a few clicks and messages between international teachers. With the engaging CSI puzzle solving framework (extra 21st Century Swagg) and Mathematical Rigor, a project for any topic is possible. Students email me the link to their presentations for me to watch them and I’ll pick a few of the best to watch in class. Students will not be crunching numbers, but if you create a strong rubric it can help a student with their verbal expression of the content and help build their vocabulary.
The Honor Roll, the basketball team, and everyone’s cell phone privileges are decided on this day.
Content-wise this can be a perfect fit at the end of the first quarter of an Algebra class and could work in a Middle School or High School. So then the super anal part of me had to go back to my original 3 and fix them up to equal the cool factor of my new 6.
Famous people from the Secretary of State to famed basketball player Shaquille O’Neal have also taken part in Skype in the Classroom lessons. For Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers this might be the first election that they've been old enough to know kinda what's going on. Nevertheless, I realized it was my opportunity to confront the largest elephant waiting in my closet – finishing my CSI eBook. While what happened in 1991 may be important, there are also important things that happened in 2011 that textbook companies just can't keep up with. I have written the project to revolve around this process and I suggest teachers to explicitly teach the process alongside the mathematics.
Students will discover this for themselves.-- "The Electoral College" -- students use a hypothetical Alternative Method to decide the President! Many take issue with the Electoral College so students will compare the actual results with the Alternative to see if there is any difference in who would have been President!



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