Thursday, June 1, 2017
7B Room Design Project
The seventh grade curriculum lends itself to many real-world projects and activities. It is the last concrete and tangible mathematics the students encounter before being thrust into the abstract world of algebra.
An end-of-the-year project I like to do with the 7s is a room design project. Students measure their bedroom, draw a scale drawing, calculate the surface area of the walls and floor, calculate the amount of paint needed, calculate the amount of flooring needed, calculate the cost of paint and flooring and sales tax, all on a budget. We tackle this project as a series of phases to be completed with many small deadlines to keep them on track. Students get into drawing their blueprints with architectural symbols, picking out paint chip colors, deciding on the finish of the paint, and negotiating how to spend their budget. It is a practical and real world application of many of the concepts and skills learned in the seventh grade curriculum.
Last year, I had a student independently tape all of his drawing together into a net of his room. It was brilliant! So this year, I added it to the project and the students liked seeing how their 2D net could be transformed into a 3D representation of their bedroom. I felt like I could imagine standing in their rooms from their scale models. I learned a few things from the construction process that I would change for the future, but it was a great addition to the project. The science teacher and I discussed the possibility of having the students 3D print their rooms next year. I love the idea of cross-curricular integration. We just need to make the time to plan and execute it next year!