When I can’t find a wheel that fits

square wheel

“Don’t re-invent the wheel. Look and see what other people are doing.

Yes, but what if the wheels I’m looking at don’t fit?

I’ve just spent two hours traipsing about the internet trying to find an idea of some good projects to do with my flexible math group. I’ve been given the most advanced group, the group that has a good grasp of number sense, and I want them to apply that information using technology to make projects. This shouldn’t be hard to find but it is. Too many of the links I’ve looked at are pointing at sites that no longer exist, don’t have enough information, aren’t targeted at the right age group or aren’t focused on the right outcomes.

Finally I decided I wanted them to do something real world, where they choose occupations, houses, cars, deal with bills and living expenses etc. We could do all kinds of math with that but I don’t want to leave it too open. I wanted guidelines and helpful websites to send them to for information.

I remembered that when my mother was teaching they did something called The Real Game that I thought was kind of what I was looking for. It comes close, closer than a lot of the stuff I looked at, but it’s also not quite right. It’s something that I would like to do with my whole class rather than just my flexible math group because it’s more interdisciplinary than just focused on math.

So I’m back at square one with this vague idea of having students somehow come up with an occupation, figure out their budget and start spending money, with each day (we have four days a week for four weeks) being about a month so they can see their budget change over time. I think this would be fun and interesting but I also need to work out the specifics rather than just saying – “Here, do this thing!” and seeing how it turns out.

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