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Bringing Project-Based Learning to Life in Mathematics, K-12

Bringing Project-Based Learning to Life in Mathematics, K-12

June 2023 | 328 pages | Corwin

Go beyond problem-solving and performance tasks.  Bring project-based learning to life!

Do you want your students to be more engaged in their mathematics lessons while also amplifying cultural relevancy and equity? If so, proceed to the next level of instruction with project-based learning (PBL)! This book provides the whole PBL game plan designed by an experienced, award-winning teacher and researcher. Whether you want to start with small steps or you are ready for full implementation in your classroom, project-based learning experiences can lead to forever memories and deeper learning for your students. Answering the why, what, and how of embarking on the journey toward PBL, readers will find

  • Need-to-Know questions to open each chapter
  • Student and educator vignettes to identify stumbling blocks and successes
  • PBL Plus Tips that identify those small steps teachers can make to gradually shift toward PBL
  • Your Turn prompts to actively connect ideas to your practice

This approachable guide includes everything you need to move from tasks to memorable project-based experiences that leverage student voice and choice and build a welcoming classroom culture!

Section I. The Why
Chapter 1: Why Now?
Chapter 2: PBL Mathematics: Equitable, Engaging, and Effective
Chapter 3: From Problem to Project
Section II
Chapter 4: Chapter 4. Rigorous Content
Chapter 5: Productive Inquiry
Chapter 6: Identity and Agency
Chapter 7: Authentic Connections
Chapter 8: Meaningful Assessment
Chapter 9: Growth through Reflection
Section III. The How
Chapter 10: Classroom Culture
Chapter 11: Role of the PBL Mathematics Teacher
Chapter 12: Find Inspiration
Chapter 13: Launch
Chapter 14: Craft Milestones
Chapter 15: Manage
Chapter 16: Assess
Chapter 17: Reflect
Chapter 18: Design the Experience

This book goes beyond being a primer of how to implement the ambitious and needed ideas of project-based learning (PBL) in any mathematics classroom. It is a book that enthusiastically embraces a wide scholarship of ideas while communicating them with a lightness and whimsy that inspires you to take the needed journey that is intimated in its title. The future of math education lies in imagining classrooms that are not only equitable in their design, but also equitable in their implementation. The best mathematical experiences lie in wait with PBL. This book must be considered the gold standard for creating those student and teacher experiences.

Sunil Singh
Pickering, ON, Canada

With compelling stories and practical strategies, McHugh gives us a vision of mathematics education that empowers all learners to experience engaging, effective, and meaningful learning. In the scenarios that McHugh brings to life, students use math to tackle projects that matter to them. When guided by teachers who know how to support each learner’s journey, these projects deepen students’ understanding of rigorous content. More importantly, students build their confidence to use math as a tool for asking questions, seeking answers, and making contributions.

Suzie Boss
Portland, OR

I have not seen and cannot imagine a more comprehensive book about project- based learning and math than this one. It feels like the time has finally come for new approaches to teaching math, and McHugh provides a detailed yet readable road map, based on her own practice and drawing from many expert sources. I love how she includes so many classroom-tested examples, stories, and practical tools. Her depth of experience and compassion for students shines through!

John Larmer
Defined Learning
Mill Valley, CA

I couldn’t stop smiling while reading this book. McHugh shows how students can experience math in ways that not only are memorable and relatable, but spark curiosity as well. I cannot wait to implement what I’ve learned from this book into my teaching practice.

Howie Hua
Fresno, CA

From start to finish, McHugh offers a unique glimpse into mathematics classrooms in which all students see themselves as mathematicians—a place
in which they experience the joy, beauty, and wonder of mathematics. Her personal stories, abundance of examples and strategies, and clear guidance provide a detailed blueprint for the reimagined teaching and learning of mathematics. This book is a must-have for those who want to finally answer the question, “Why do I have to learn this?”

Tammy Moynihan
Wisconsin Mathematics Council
Falls, WI

Most of my experiences as a math educator have been with problem-based learning, not project-based learning, because getting started felt daunting. This book helped me better understand the differences and gave an actionable plan to implement meaningful project-based lessons with students. Educators say we want students to be college and career ready, yet we’re using the same practices that we used decades ago. If you want your students to authentically use mathematics in their lives, this is the book for you.

Robert Kaplinsky
Long Beach, CA

Through this book, McHugh makes project-based learning come to life in the mathematics classroom. The stories shared throughout the book from
both students’ and teachers’ perspectives help us see ourselves in this important work and show the thought process in creating PBL mathematics
experiences. The examples throughout help illustrate the key components in utilizing PBL to develop student understanding of mathematics.

Kevin Dykema
Mattawan Middle School

Bringing Project-Based Learning to Life in Mathematics will support mathematics teachers with creating learning environments where students see mathematics as relevant to their lives and where students have opportunities to answer questions that matter to them. McHugh’s book provides practical strategies to enact this approach to mathematics teaching.

Amanda Jansen
University of Delaware
Newark, DE

This book can help teachers plan and implement authentic experiences for students. With project-based learning, students are less likely to say, “When am I going to use this?,” and instead receive individualized mathematics learning opportunities that are relevant and meaningful.

Christine Koerner
Oklahoma State Department of Education
Norman, OK

In Bringing Project-Based Learning to Life in Mathematics, McHugh articulates how project-based learning can transform the learning experience for students and the teaching experience for educators. Working with students and teachers around the world, I see how PBL can be a tool to empower students to be thinkers and problem solvers. Reading this book, a teacher learns why and how to implement PBL in their classroom.

Chadd W. McGlone
Chapel Hill, NC

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ISBN: 9781071880722