In 6th grade, students learn to calculate probability and set up proportional relationships. Both concepts lend themselves to hands-on, real-world activities. Challenge advanced students by having them come up with their own projects for class. Read on for tips on how to manage student projects as well as project ideas.

Sometimes advanced students act out in class because they are bored. Other times, their grades suffer because they stop caring about the material. If there is an advanced student in your 6th grade math class, keep her challenged and focused by having her complete an independent study. Below are a few tips for getting started.

1. The idea should appeal to the student. Allow her to come up with the topic as long as it covers the appropriate math skills for class.

2. The independent study should only last as long as the unit itself. Although the student is advanced in this topic, he may not be in the next one.

3. Make sure the student understands the expectations and due dates. At this age, some students may not be ready for the level of independence that you're giving them. Make sure you're firm with the guidelines and have regular check-ins throughout the week. Also, provide the student with a rubric so she knows what you're expecting.

4. Consider having the student present the project to the class. This can help the advanced student reconnect with the other students. In addition, it may inspire other students to work harder.

Independent Study Ideas

Scale Model

If the student is passionate about art or architecture, he could build a scale model of a town using ratios and proportions. For instance, assume the scale of the project is ten feet = one inch. For a 200-foot building, the proportion should look like this: 10/1 = 200/x. After solving, the student would find that x = 20, which means that the 200-foot building would be 20 inches tall on the scale model.

Weather Predictions

For a probability unit, the student could check the reliability of the weather reports. For one week, she would track the weather reports from a variety of sources against the actual weather outside and create a table. Her goal would be to find the source that provides the most accurate weather report. For the culmination of the project, she would calculate the probability that each source will continue to predict the weather accurately. For instance, if one weather station only predicted one day's weather accurately during the week of the project, the student would calculate that there is about a 14% chance that the station will continue to get the weather correct.

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