What exactly is Project-Based Learning in Math?
When you’re gazing at yet another worksheet with multiplication problems for your pupils to do, you think to yourself, ‘There has to be a better method to teach them arithmetically!’
There is one. Project-based learning in math entails presenting students with difficult issues that stimulate their creative thinking. Project-based learning can be the epitome of genuine training, in which students are allowed to work on real-world problems while developing their distinct approaches.
Students will do the these in project-based learning: collect information on the issue, determine how they will go about finding a solution, decide on the sorts of activities that will take place, evaluate the data, break it down into bits, combine the knowledge in novel ways—create new information, determine how to apply the acquired information to the problem, use multidisciplinary knowledge to tackle the problem (for example, using science and social studies knowledge to help solve a math problem), create something that demonstrates how they utilized their knowledge and what they gained. They must effectively convey their findings.
The Advantages of Project-Based Mathematical Learning
Students frequently fail to recognize a connection between what they are learning and anything important to them—yet it is precisely this connection that is at the heart of good teaching. When students’ minds connect a learning activity to something intriguing and relevant to them, they will engage, becoming active, interested participants in the learning process. The students own the project, which is a significant benefit of project-based learning in general and project-based math in particular. They believe it is theirs, a reflection of who they are and proof of their success and accomplishment. When students proudly demonstrate the car they created, demonstrating how their math calculations made it possible, it is clear to all educational stakeholders, including instructors, staff, parents, and other students, that these children are now involved in the learning process.
When a student’s mind forms an effective multi-faceted link, one that connects various emotions, memories, points of excitement, points of understanding, and knowledge areas, the student’s abilities in remembering, comprehending, applying, analyzing, assessing, and producing are all increased.
The opportunities provided by project-based learning in mathematics are not restricted to a certain group of students. You may create and direct projects for students with impairments, those with extraordinary talents, those whose learning methods differ from the others, those with extremely rare intelligence kinds, and any other combination of kids who may come into your classroom. The benefits of project-based learning in mathematics are not limited to a certain group of kids. You may design and direct projects for students with disabilities, those with exceptional skills, those whose learning processes differ from others, those with exceedingly unusual intelligence types, and any other mix of pupils who may enter your classroom.
Effective ways to add PBL in mathematics class
- Incorporate math with visual and linguistic arts by having students create their math books. Students must cover a specified number of curricular competencies in the form of a unique short tale. They should explain and demonstrate each ability within the framework of the tale, which will help students grasp it better. Students should educate themselves about the value of a specific ability by demonstrating how to utilize it in a real-world context. As a consequence, your retention should improve.
- Start smart: Teachers may gain confidence in PBL by properly selecting project possibilities. If an idea can be taught quickly, don’t make it the focus of a three-week effort. Experts recommend taking a look at the word problems in your textbooks. Could they serve as a springboard for more in-depth inquiries that are relevant to students’ interests? It is important to examine your school community for challenges that require mathematical answers. For example, how might a student organization organize a more effective fund-raising event? How can school statistics be presented in a way that the general public can understand? Speak with people who utilize math in their daily lives and jobs. How do their experiences relate to your content?
You can also collaborate with colleagues who teach in various subject areas to come up with ideas. What’s new in science or art that relates to math?
- Math as a career
Allow pupils to look forward and investigate a career option that significantly relies on arithmetic. You might offer a list of suitable jobs or ask students to propose their own. In either case, deciding on a career will start the research process. Each student must research the field and write a brief report on how professionals utilize math in their everyday activities. Following that, students should be able to identify a skill employed in their chosen profession and relate it to a skill in the curriculum. The last assignment is to produce a textbook chapter that describes the talent while providing concrete examples of how and when it is applied in the specified vocation.
- Some instructors are concerned that PBL would reduce the amount of time available for practicing math skills. Others insist on “front-loading” topics before students can apply them, or they are concerned about kids encountering concepts that are not in the order indicated in their math curriculum.
NCTM refers to procedural fluency that students do not need laboring through worksheets. Getting students to expose their thoughts is an important aspect of developing the correct culture for PBL to succeed.
- Before embarking on a full-fledged project, attempt a small assignment that nevertheless necessitates investigation. Inquiry activities, like projects, are intended to address relevant material. Students are given enough time to engage in deep dialogues, battle with problem-solving, and get feedback to help them better their work. In their book, Fancher and Norfar define many inquiry activities, each lasting three to five class sessions and concentrating on certain standards.
- Students working in groups, journaling, interviewing experts, or participating in Socratic seminars to study arithmetic subjects in detail are seen to be effective. These teaching methods encourage students to ask questions instead of waiting for the teacher to guide them. They pique people’s interests, induce introspection, and get them to think.
They stimulate kids’ interest, inspire reflection, and get them talking and thinking about arithmetic.
- Another method that appears during math projects is having students keep notebooks or write observations on their learning. Some math professors concede, “may believe this is a waste of time,” but “writing helps pupils consolidate their thoughts.”
- It takes time for students and instructors alike to develop the skills and tactics needed to be successful with PBL in math. Teachers, like math students, must be ready for feedback and improve their efforts to become good problem solvers.