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Math Project Ideas: Examples of Project-Based Learning

Updated on June 9, 2015
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Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and former teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.

Engaging Math Projects for All Grade Levels

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If you've developed your own project-based learning lesson plans, you know that math project plans can be an octopus-like undertaking incorporating state or Common Core standards and possibly coordinating with other teachers—all within the class schedule. And then there are the necessary assessment rubrics.

I undertook my first project-based learning math plan with my 5th graders several years ago. My students were fully engaged and it was rewarding for all of us. But it was a bear to develop; I spent about 20 hours just on the plan. I swore then to find a more efficient way to build out my math projects.

Fellow teachers recommended many resources to me, and I found many online. These 160 math projects, from schools across the US, provide overviews, activities, assessment rubrics, work-product descriptions, and ideas for reflection. Although they vary in format, you can adjust them to your students' learning situation and to curriculum demands.

Projects from Teach21 PBL (West Virginia Dept of Education) and Math Matters in Indiana, in particular, are very detailed and provide excellent project-based learning lesson plan templates.

The projects are organized by topic and grade level, when available. Keep in mind that project-based learning lesson plans are usually cross-curricular. Math projects often incorporate STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—particularly in middle and high school classes.

General Math Projects - 70 Ideas and Examples

Geometry Projects: Ideas and Examples

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Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners
Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners

This is the premier guide for how to incorporate project-based learning into your children's daily lessons. Lori Pickert provides valuable advice on how to harness your child's natural questioning nature into inquiry-based projects that provide a sense of accomplishment and pride as they learn math, science, reading, writing, and art concepts.

The main critique of the book is that it is short on project ideas and structure. Use the detailed projects I list in this article as a jumping-off point for the guidance provided by Pickert.

 

Algebra Projects: Ideas and Examples

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Math Project Ideas from Readers

Exploring Space Through Math | NASA

Problem-based learning for students in grades 7-12. There are problems in algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and precalculus.

A question for all of you teachers out there

Have you ever used project-based learning for math in your classroom?

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Are these math project ideas helpful to you?

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      Heidi Reina 9 months ago from USA

      I'm so glad they were a help to you, Lianne. Curriki.org members frequently post new project ideas and guidance, so I go back to it every year when I begin my planning.

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      Lianne 9 months ago

      These links are excellent. I think they would be very useful starting points for brainstorming different hands on learning activities with a math focus. I would love to know more about project-based learning and this is a great step in that direction. If anyone has any other math related sites for project-based learning please send a link . Thanks :)

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      Heidi Reina 12 months ago from USA

      These resources are definitely useful for mini projects that can be incorporated into a larger pbl curriculum.

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      Sarah 12 months ago

      I second Penny's suggestion. I have used the Math Projects from k-5mathteachingresources.com for the last 2 years with grades 3-5. Students love them and have produced some wonderful projects.

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      Heidi Reina 15 months ago from USA

      The resources you cite include some good basic math activities, but I do not see any that rise to the level of project based learning.

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      Penny 15 months ago

      These Math Projects from k-5mathteachingresources have worked well in my grade 4/5 classroom this year. Lots to choose from and each one comes with a rubric!

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      Heidi Reina 22 months ago from USA

      Shanaya, might I suggest CensusAtSchool? It is a scalable project for a variety of grade levels in which students gather information about students in their school, submit it to a website, then analyze and compare it to students from other schools, nationwide or worldwide. You can design limits such as how many students are surveyed, and the extent to which the data will be analyzed. More details here:

      http://www.censusatschool.org.uk/

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      shanaya 2 years ago

      Can't I get some good less time consuming and simple projects for standard 5th

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