Famous Mathematicians Choice Board (Differentiation Idea)

May 29, 2014

A few years ago I made a project that I used with my year 7 (eleven year old) students. I introduced it by talking for about two minutes about Blaise Pascal, a mathematician I find personally interesting.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 9.54.35 AM

Then I told my students they were going to choose a mathematician to learn about and it would be their choice how to show their learning. There are nine options for them to produce, and they needed to do three of them which form a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line from the choice board. (Here is the choice board file.)

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 9.58.55 AM

I arranged the nine items so that the lines require some diversity of products. The two times I have used this project my students have responded very positively to the choices. The second time I did it, after they had made their three items, I made larger groups of those who had chosen the same mathematicians to put together a display board of their work. It’s a bonus for me that this project makes for a lot of good display work if you need/want to change your classroom displays.

I think if I did this project again, I might allow more choice on the person as well, perhaps by adding the option, “Choose another mathematician of your choice and have it approved by Mrs A”.

I am posting about this today because I was reading Mr Bigger’s post about differentiation using choice boards. It also makes me think that I should try to use a choice board for a more “meaty” mathematical topic. Has anyone done this before and have an example to share?


One Response to “Famous Mathematicians Choice Board (Differentiation Idea)”

  1. Mr. Bigger Says:

    Just realized I had unpublished my class website, so the last link to see what the students see was broken. It’s fixed if you want to go back and look.

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