Many teachers and other coaches like to use KA skills in order to help students learn the prerequisite content knowledge for hands-on projects and applied learning. In out-of-school time, in particular, students have the freedom and time to dive into a variety of projects.
Below are a few resources that some instructors have recommended for project ideas.
Resource Area for Teaching
RAFT has a library of games and activities that are aligned to the Common Core. Their activities can serve as hooks or fun applications of skills for students. Here are a couple examples:
- Students can play the Above & Below Zero game after they've mastered the skill of adding negative numbers.
- The Flip Over Fractions game can hook students into the concept of equivalent fractions, and it makes a great precursor for the exercise Comparing Fractions 1.
Browse RAFT's Idea Sheets to learn more!
Buck Institute of Education
BIE is a great resource for project-based learning (PBL). Browse their site to learn the essentials of a PBL curriculum or search their huge library of projects. All their projects are also aligned to the Common Core.
Mathematics Assessment Project
The Mathematics Assessment Project offers rich lessons to complement 6th grade through high school math. Projects focus on problem solving and concept development.
Projects developed by schools
In the examples below, teachers mapped out Khan Academy exercises to projects to ensures that students mastered the prerequisite skills necessary to benefit from the project.
Project hooks: These projects tend to be collaborative and get students excited about a concept. At Summit San Jose, we saw students start a Geometry unit by watching a clip of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons devise a contraption that would block a portion of the sun over Springfield. Afterwards, students simulated that experience and set themselves up for learning more about ratios, proportions, and similar triangles.
Investigations: These projects tend to be self-directed or worked on in pairs. They are relatively short explorations (can be completed in a class period or two) that allow students to understand the material at a deeper level. We’ve seen teachers give students who are moving quickly through a unit an investigation so that they can continue to be challenged.
Scaffolded projects: These projects contain many parts and correspond to different KA exercises. At KIPP, for example, students learned about decimals, fractions, and percentages with a multi-stage project. The project started with a budget and a set of coupons given to each student to “buy” items for their room from an online store. After completing corresponding KA exercises, students worked on parts of their project such as converting fractions and percentages to decimals, calculating total savings, and solving for the amount of commission made.