Math Genius Hour Research

About two weeks ago my classes started their math genius hour projects. Students started with a  wonderwall, created multiple questions, and then decided on one question that they wanted to emphasize.  The students generated and picked the question.  I signed-off on the question and the students chose what math strand they wanted to highlight. Eventually the math strand will dictate what will be included in the presentation.


If needed, students can refine their questions to show more detail.  Some students may do just that.  Some of the students won’t really know until the research process starts. As you can see, students definitely were wondering how ____ is made. I can’t describe in words the amount of curiosity that this type of project brings to the table. Instead of asking the teacher for their answer (they still do though) I’m asking students to research for themselves.

Most of the students will begin researching their questions using a variety of online resources next week.  What I found out last week was that students weren’t aware of how to search, gather, or cite information. Before the students begin their research I wanted to review how to use online sources correctly.  A few students raised their eyebrows and asked why we’re learning about research skills in math class.  Many of the students have never heard of the term digital literacy before.  I thought this was a great opportunity to discuss the importance of being able to find and use online resources effectively.  The class explored (1) (2) a few different resources on how to search for information online.

We also looked at the following questions:

– Who created the website ?
– How does the site address end ? (.gov .edu .net .org)
-Does the page contain any type of advertisement ?  

So where are we now? Some students have already started to research their topics.  Students are asked to find at least three sources before picking a presentation tool.  They are filling out the sheet below to compile their information.

Math Genius Source Sheet
Click for pdf

Once the research is complete students will pick their presentation tool.  I’m also looking at having students reflect on their math genius project journey in their journals.  Now, I’m looking at what type of presentations tools they can use … that’s my research for the weekend.

Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.

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