Speaking of projects, I recently had a very lovely experience collaborating off of my colleague's percents project. I took an old project that she had written up and added extra components to it, and then gave the feedback back to her so that in the future she might incorporate the new elements. I really loved this iterative process, and she was happy as well!
Here was her original project.
Here was my add-on.
Essentially, I took the same percentage discount elements (my kids are still calculating percents by dividing by 10 to get 10%, and then working through proportional reasoning) and then added a creative component, where percent increase (shipping fee) was incorporated into this project by asking the students to come up with their own online shopping story. I also would only check the first two steps (1A and 1B) of the project, plus the calculations for their individual creative piece. The rest of the project had to be checked some other way, so they had to brainstorm ways to check their work -- and they'll be graded on this "reflective" process in addition to their overall explanations, clarity of thought/work, and accuracy.
In the end, the kids helped each other to identify a variety of math concepts (decimals, rounding, percentage, addition vs. subtraction, sequential application of percentage change, checking your work using inverse operations) that were required in this project. I'm still waiting for their writeup, to be due next week, and then probably a revised version (depending on how well the drafts are done the first time). I'm quite happy about how it has gone thus far!
These same 7th-graders also rocked their algebra, fractions, and basic percents on the first semester test. They had come in to my class not knowing integers, order of operations, or how to calculate even simple fractions. I'm so proud that they ended up doing better on the semester exam than my previous students did a year ago!!! WAY TO GO, GRADE 7. Rocking my world, one day at a time.