components that engage students with math.
Projects allow students to create a product and take away something tangible that they associate withthe application of math. Don’t forget to keep some samples to display next year as examples of howmath is used! Projects can also produce an event or a much needed improvement in the communityor environment.
Design projects in which students have the chance to make choices based on their own preferences.Choose the color of string you want, choose your design, choose 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional.Choose whether to make a game or dictionary to demonstrate the geometry terms. Students aremore likely to be engaged by a project or activity of their own choosing that fits their learning style.
Anything outside of the intense test practice they have been going through is bound to be fun.However, make your unit include the things you know your students like to do. Outdoors, food,games, teams, chances to win prizes, etc.
The projects you undertake here should be of relevance to your content as well as relevant to your students. Take into consideration the time of the year, what is happening in your school andcommunity, and in the news. What are major concerns of your students? What do they like to do?With whom do they like to spend their time? What kind of music do they listen to? What do theywatch on TV? How involved are they with technology?
If students are going to feel antsy and the weather makes them want to be outside, work it! Planactivities in your unit that involve physical activity and outdoor time, perhaps a culminating activity thatinvolves some type of games outdoors or away from school.
Some ideas for Mini Units
You can get great ideas for mini units from the internet or teacher magazines. There’s no need toreinvent the wheel when you are first getting started. Here are just a few topic ideas that I have usedover the years.Paper Flying Machines (AIMS is a good resources for this)Toothpick Bridges (Books and internet ideas on this)Math OlympicsMath Games TournamentsString Art 2 and 3 DimensionalCommunity Service ProjectsSummer Business PlanBubble Fest