Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Tried It: Open Ended Projects

Only 3 more school days until Thanksgiving break!  We get the whole week off and I'm so excited!  It's Tuesday and it's time for Tried It Tuesday with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper!

With my 21st Century laptop grant, my district wants us to focus on project based learning.  I'm trying to refine my project designing skills, and while I'm working on those skills, I've been leaning on Teaching with a Mountain View and her awesome open ended math projects!  She also has some amazing task cards if you are looking for some as well!  We completed her Ireland Trip project back in September when we were working on addition and subtraction.  This week we started her Resort Report this week.

What I love about these projects, is that there are so many right answers!!!  My students are working with partner on this project to calculate the costs of building a resort. They loved doing the Ireland Project and are just as excited about their resort!

Here are my students working on their resorts!  Don't they just look engrossed?!

There are some major pros and there are some cons to doing open ended math projects like this.

Here are the pros:
1. There are multiple right answers
2. The kids get to be creative and choose how the want to solve the problems
3. Students are highly engaged

Here are some cons:
1. Time: You have to be able to devote some serious time to these projects and know that even when you hit your "deadline" the kids may still need more time.
2. There are right answers, but everyone has a different right answer.  This can be challenging when checking students' work.  You cant\'t exactly make an answer key for every possible answer.
3. Repeating directions: because the project is student guided, they are different places at different times.  This means that when they get to a new section, I have to explain the directions, and I have do do this multiple times.

This project was just what I needed to get me through this last week before Thanksgiving break!  Do you use open projects in your classroom?

1 comment:

  1. I will definitely need to check these projects out. We do a LOT of open ended projects in my TAG class. Some times we have several going on at one time for different subjects. It can be overwhelming at times, but they are so valuable for the students. I like that you have listed a pros and cons list. I'd agree with everything you listed.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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