Using Art Projects to Create a Math Adventure...
Project: The Math Journal
Journals are important elements in many adventure stories. The idea for the Math Journal came from the movie, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Walt Disney's "Atlantis" also featured a diary. Can you think of other adventure stories where a journal or diary was significant?
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When completed, the Math Journal looks like an ancient book that is full of mysterious and amazing secrets and discoveries! It's an exciting and fun project that appeals to all students.
The Math Journal is a comprehensive and in depth project. It requires a lot of time and effort on the part of the students. For that reason, I use it as the centerpiece of my curriculum; the textbook that I taught from previously, I now use as a resource book for problems and homework assignments. It is my observation that the students were never enthusiastic about the textbook anyway. Now they definitely have something that they are enthused about.
This project is most successful when it is used either as the core of the curriculum or in a situation where there is additional (lab) time. I do not recommend that the Math Journal be used as a supplementary project with a class that meets just 5 periods a week. I have tried it, and there just isn't enough time! There are other projects described on this web site that are more suitable as supplementary projects.
The journal project effectively
incorporates within the course, a study of Biblical references, significant
events from the history of math (such as how we got the name "algebra"),
notable mathematicians, and interesting puzzles, facts and concepts. The
result is an adventure that is designed to appeal to all students. Students
enjoy creating a book that looks old and doing the research to gather information
to fill their books. When they finish the course, they have made a book
of over 200 pages which is a tangible record of their experience.
Create a Math Squad Math Journal
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