Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Project in Full Swing

I am discovering quickly that once you start a project it is hard to sometimes stop and write about the flow of it. It is also difficult when all of your class dynamics change before you introduce the first project. One week ago today, the students were introduced to the Smith Project. Let me explain the situation regarding the Smith Project and the make-believe family in it.

Kate Smith is a single parent who lives in the area. Kate lost her job at the GM plant. Since losing her job, Kate has had three other jobs. She is now in a stable job at a local manufacturing business. However, Kate is not making as much money. While working at GM, Kate used to take her and her three daughters to the state fair. Since losing her job, they have not been to the state fair. She really wants to take the girls this year. The girls are teenagers and Kate wants to do as much with them as possible before they graduate. She heard we may be able to help her go to the fair on her limited budget. She has $150 that she can spend. The driving question(focus of the project): How can Smith make the most of her $150 budget for the state fair?

This is a very small almost seemingly easy answer at first. However, once students investigate the cost associated with the fair, it has some complexities to it. The goal of the project is to teach systems of equations and inequalities while also helping to get the students prepared to work in teams, think critically and talk mathematically.

I have several things I did to complete the project. The project ends Friday. I will discuss what occurred each day over the next few days. I can't wait to talk to you. Stay tuned for details and links to student work.

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