Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships: Making Mathematics Come Alive with Project-Based Learning
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Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships ,edited by Enrique Galindo and Jean Lee, supplies teachers with a challenging and rewarding new way to deeply engage their students in secondary mathematics. In project-based learning (PBL), students investigate and solve real-world issues through mathematics. This book describes the nuts and bolts of designing an effective PBL unit, outlines how this method can help prepare students for future challenges in life and learning, and showcases a number of classroom-tested examples of PBL lessons.
Each unit provided here kicks off with an Entry Event (a letter, video, or presentation of a real-life problem) followed by a Driving Question, an open-ended challenge that students explore together. Mathematics instruction is integrated throughout their investigation. All of these lessons work to support the three pillars of project-based learning:
Projects teach students the rigorous mathematics necessary for college and career readiness. These units address the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics—in particular its Standards for Mathematical Practice—and serve to develop the 21st-century skills that students will need.
As they work on mathematics projects situated in the real world, students discover connections to their own lives and communities. Units in this book include ones on buying a car, building a solar cooker, modeling quarterback performance in the Super Bowl, and more. Students immersed in PBL-taught classes have higher levels of engagement and emerge with more useful content knowledge.
PBL promotes collaborative learning. To complete these projects, students work in close cooperation with their peers, and they develop positive relationships with their teachers, parents, and other members of their communities.
To help teachers on their journey to implementing project-based learning in their own classrooms, this book includes planning forms and project calendars, real examples of student work, teaching rubrics, and reflections and tips from educators experienced in the PBL method. Classroom-ready forms are available to download and print at NCTM’s More4U website.
When students are engaged in both the process and the content of their learning, their educational experience is more enjoyable, effective, and lasting. Incorporating these project-based lessons into instruction increases engagement for students, teachers, and the entire learning community.