I have a Grade 8 Math teacher at my school who's hoping to do something a little off the beaten path with her advanced Grade 8s. There's two or three of these kids in each of the three Grade 8 classes.

I've dug around and found a lot of math websites, but I guess I'm wonderin gif there's something a little different that would challenge these kids. We want to do more than have the kids do some activity because they're done the regular material early. Maybe they could produce some kind of product? Maybe the could work collaboratively with each other, or with students in a different section of Grade 8?

I'm not completely sure what we want this to look like, but we're hunting for technology tools and/or projects that will create a challenge for Grade 8 kids who find Math too easy.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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That's got some possibilities. I've got to think this one through a bit. I'll let you know what we end up with.
I'm game for this! However, I'm not a math teacher, so I don't have a lot of ideas/expertise to offer in that field.

If you have ideas for projects, I have students 5-7th grade who would love to collaborate and make good things happen. Some are working on grade level, but most of my 7th graders working in Frosh-level Algebra. We'd be DELIGHTED to do some fun math collaborations.
Well, I'm still brainstorming and not sure what I'll come up with. But I will keep that offer in mind. I'm "coaching" the Grade 8 teachers about some of the cool things they can do with computers, etc. They don't know too much yet, but they're very receptive, so who knows what can be done.
What about the students teaching other students a lesson via a web conference, podcast, video recording, or even live via Skype? Then have the next group teach the original group using either the same method of communication or select another option and then compare the advantages/disadvantages to using those styles of communication in teaching concepts remotely.
We had a go at Peer Mentoring (Year 7's -Grade 6 equivalent I think - with Year 3's Grade 2's) via skype and skypetalkandwrite (only availaible at the mo with PC , Mac version on it's way). It was very motivating for both sides and very eye-opening for me as the teacher to hear the conversations going on - I got some very valuable insight into my students. They were giving some very valuable insight to the younger students. It was a very powerful and rewarding thing to do! We then set up a wiki and started to create our own textbook of lessons. Now that's a real challenge and definitely not as easy for the students as it sounds - but it is worthwhile and it certainly encourages communication, collaboration and motivation! How about a global collaboration effort - find a school in another country and see if maths is done the same way there!
I am all for the global collaboration! I would be glad to communicate and make arrangements with some of my teachers.
Thanks for all the feedback. I've talked again with the Math teacher. In the short term, we're probably not going to collaborate.

The Manitoba Grade 8 Math Curriculum has a strand called "Shape and Space." One of the objectives involves working with 3D objects including drawing, constructing, and manipulating them in all sorts of cool ways. We thought we could take that strand and do some pretty cool things using Google Sketchup. This kind of goes at some of the objectives from the side rather than head on, but we thing we'll be getting the kids to think creatively about geometry. Right now the project is for enrichment, but if it works we hope to generate a little buzz. Maybe next year we can move it into the main class content.
Here's some ideas I've used or would like to use:

Have kids create a survey, import the data into Excel and manipulate the data. Here's the survey several of my students are working on. http://computer.wufoo.com/admin/entry/broken-arrow-el-technology-su...

Our middle school gifted program competes each year in Future Cities Other team competitions are Lego League and Math Counts.

How about a Good Math Webquest?

"Look Who's Footing the Bill!" I love the Big Question--"What's the Big Deal with a 7 trillion dollar debt?"
A Creative Encounter of the Numerical Kind Why does our number stsyem have place value? How does place value work?
King of Tides The moon goes on trial for causing the tides.

WISE is cool, even though it's Science Inquiry

I'm sure you've seen these two sites Illuminations and Library of Virtual Manipulatives but have you seen Absurd Math or Math-Kitechture or Building a Home of Our Own or The Art of Oriental Carpets or Conceptis Puzzles or WebSudoku or Kakuro Let me know if you need more ideas! N.
Now, you see, this is why I like the Classroom 2.0 group. A lot of these sites look very cool. I probably wouldn've found most of them myself. However, I'm a social studies teacher working with a math teacher. I've used Sim City in a human geography class to work through the ideas of urbanization. It would never have occured to me to use this as a math/architecture tool as it seem they're doing in Future Cities. I'm going to figure out where/if these things fit into the curriculum. Trading ideas like this with knowledgeable people is great.
Glad to help--I used to present at NECC with a "Best Practices" focus so I have seen some great sites! N
Hi James, I've been working on a project called InstaCalc which some teachers have found useful. You can do math, formulas, and charts very easily (much simpler than Excel, uses natural language) and share links to your results. Here's how some people have used it:

Canola Price Calculator (embedded in a blog)
Calculate your BMI
Visualize the price of the latest video game systems

I'm passionate about making math more fun and approachable -- I think letting students play with math in real time is important. The nice part is you can "see" how any result was made. Most calculators just spit out an answer -- I think it's important to see the equation that went in and be able to modify it.

I'm open to any feedback or suggestions.



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