We are so excited! My students’ answers to a “Solve It!” were published in the November edition of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. This is a national publication produced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The students collected data about the number of jeans owned by every student in their class. Working in groups of three or four, they used Google Spreadsheets to compare their class average to the national average and to do further analysis of the data. They created graphs to visually present their findings. They also worked collaboratively on a Google word document to write their analysis of the data. After they came up with conclusions, they created wiki pages to present their findings. Their wiki pages were creative and beautifully formatted. They contained uploaded graphs of their data, detailed analyses, and even some pictures they took with their cameras or computers.
We had already covered the unit on averages when the “Solve It!” question came about. Therefore, I gave few instructions to the students for this project. I showed them the question in the article and let them work independently in their groups. I encouraged them to be creative. They loved this project and they reported that much of their enthusiasm was due to the freedom they were given.