## Monday, August 31, 2009

### Math Projects

In the work department:

I came up with a new algebra project for comparing the per-capita stats of different countries. It is loosely connected to the domain / range stuff we have been learning about in the introduction to functions unit. The kids will take a look at a website that tracks stats across different countries and compare El Salvador to other countries in everyday issues such as health, economy, technology, lifestyle, crime, etc. The math part of the project will be to create bar graphs comparing numbers from different countries, and A.) to explain why the bar graph represents a function and B.) to identify the domain and range for the function. Following that, the kids will write a short reflection about the contrast in numbers, incorporating some researched facts about the story behind those numbers.

This may turn out to be a flop, but I'm pretty excited anyway. It's my first socioeconomic project that I've ever designed! With my honors 10th graders, I feel that they have both the maturity and the motivation necessary to do a project like this, and I'm excited to see how it will turn out. (It's OK if it flops in the end; I'll know what to fix for next year.)

As for my first project of the year for my regular 9th-grade Geometry classes, I have designed an architectural project incorporating various irregular areas and perimeters to be calculated. There will be a significant writing component, since I think the kids can really use some practice articulating their ideas. I am pretty excited about this project as well, even though I am also worried about the complexity of the math, as well as the kids' lack of regularity in completing work outside the class...

Anyway, that's how work is going. Pretty well, I think. There are things that could be better, like kids could be more motivated on their own to do work. But, I think that's always the case... It's somehow sad to me that these privileged children are not taking advantage of all the opportunities that they have. Reminds me of something my high-school English teacher once said to our class: "You owe it to other people to do your best in life. There are people whose parents would kill for their kids to have half of the gift and opportunity that you have." If you never think that the things you say to a 16-year-old are going to stay with them, think again.

----------------------------

Addendum July 2, 2010: Here are the screenshots for the country stats project. The kids complained tremendously about researching for their math class, but they turned in beautiful projects! I also have the files for the perimeter/circumference project, but the aerial blueprints for the buildings were hand-drawn, so those are not included here.