In a math class where there are so many students working above grade level expectations, I sometimes struggle to find activities that are appropriately challenging and engaging for all students in the room. I have a small group of students that are working at a high school math level and so they often enjoy the challenge of working together to solve problems.
Here is an example of a project I had two group of students working on during our recent fractions, decimals and percentages unit. I started by collecting the data for them, but next year I think I will see if they can brainstorm ways to collect this data on their own, and perhaps even work in a way for them to meet with the admissions office. I was happy that both groups of students chose to display the data differently!
Students were engaged for about 40 minutes with this activity. Most took the opportunity to show we had been learning in class : drawing and representing fractions, comparing and ordering fractions, equivalent fractions, turning fractions into percentages and decimals. Others showed their newly strategies for adding and subtracting fractions while others even showed their own abilities and strategies for multiplying and dividing fractions. The results were varied. Some were very surprising. Some students had to be encouraged to keep writing more, but ultimately, everyone did the best work they could.