Meaningful Projects

by Jill Brown

Coming up with projects that relate to the math units, is now the new challenge of flipping my classroom. I’ve tried using the curriculum generated extensions, but it was too “worksheetish” for me. Even though the students produced some good work, I don’t think it was challenging enough. I felt it was more of a “time-filler” than an actual learning opportunity. This nine weeks I’m trying something more techy. My students will be designing a video game around a fraction concept (add/sub, mult/div, or fraction/ decimal/percent conversion).

It was about four years ago that my brother introduced me to Scratch animation. A computer programing application for kids. It was developed at MIT. I dabbled with it and learned the basics, but couldn’t really work into my instruction…until now.

So, I began searching the internet for lesson plans, but instead I found this website that offers screencasts tutorials for the Scratch program (< Because my math class is self paced and instruction is delivered in small groups or 1:1, this was perfect. The students could watch the tutorials and complete tasks for each screencast and send their work to me via Edmodo. They would be able to learn the Scratch program at their own pace and be challenged at the same time. The problem solving that they are going to  encounter will be amazing. This is right up their “geeky” alley.

If this turns out to be succesful, the next project might be letting my students create a screencast tutorial on a math topic. This would require a lot of critical thinking and problem solving. I think they will enjoy it.