I love end of the year projects, because it’s a time to really celebrate what your students know and can apply.
We started the Design a Dream Bedroom project in a 4th grade classroom, and the enthusiasm and excitement was absolutley out of control the first day. There are 6 in-depth problems within this gigantic problem (each step is it’s own problem) walking the students through what they need to do. The problems integrate math, reading and writing. It is challenging, open ended, and is a perfect way to practice performance tasks. Everything you need for the problem is included. (I like to pick up actual samples from the hardware store for students to see, but if you can’t do that everything is still there in the resource for the entire project.) Each section is about a full page (or more) of reading to help students practice reading for understanding in math problems.
The best way to introduce it? Just sit them in a circle, and read the first page together after you set out all the samples.
This is one of my favorite projects because it really truly runs itself. The samples that you can pick up from any hardware store is what really makes it real to the students. The projects requires basic math used in complex ways. There is no budget, so the sky is the limit.
There are requirements that I love to redirect students back to work on again to teach precision. For example, using a straightedge to work on their blueprint or properly labeling their drawings so that we can see the dimensions of the room.
My favorite part is the reaction we will get from their parents when they hand deliver a letter explaining what they want. I’ve seen a few students who have designed a bedroom that will cost several thousand dollars because they went overboard on accessories, using Amazon to add things to their price list.
When the end of the year starts to feel like students are checking out, engage them in projects like this! It’s so fun and keeps your students on track with high levels of learning.