Elementary Math Projects: Ideas and Tips for Teachers and Parents

Elementary students learn well when they are engaged in hands-on activities. Math projects can help students engage with math topics and develop a deep understanding of the subject. Whether you're trying to find a fun project for your students or for your child at home, try out the tips and sample projects below.

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How Can I Design Elementary Math Projects?

When you're designing elementary math projects, begin by thinking about the concept that you want your students or child to utilize and how that concept can be practiced with a project. For example, geometry can be practiced by making pictures with cutouts of polygons. Similarly, measurement skills can be practiced by measuring items found in the classroom.

Next, think about how long you want the project to last. You could design a long-term graphing project where students create a weather bar graph. Each day, students can add to the bar graph depending on the day's weather. However, if you want a quicker graphing project, you can conduct a survey of how students get to school (bus, walking, car or bike) and create a bar graph with this information.

Although it takes time and effort to design math projects, you will find that your students are excited and motivated to complete them, which will make your math lessons more effective. At home, projects reinforce what your child is learning in school and can help your child understand that math exists outside of the classroom.

Math Projects

In the Classroom

1. For a geometry project, have your students create a drawing using geometry concepts like triangles, rectangles, parallel lines, perpendicular lines and right angles.

2. To practice measuring skills, have a scavenger hunt in the classroom. Break the students into groups and ask them to find objects in the room that are five feet, four inches, three and a half centimeters, etc.

3. If you want a long-term project, have the students plan a trip somewhere. They will have to calculate how far the destination is from the school. In addition, they will calculate what they will need to buy from the store in preparation. As a result, students practice measuring as well as multi-digit addition.

At Home

1. Incorporate math into art projects at home. In fifth grade, students learn to calculate the volume of cubes. Challenge your child by having him or her create a 3-D sculpture or a model of your town. Then, together you can calculate the volume of the sculpture or model.

2. Make a pie at home to review fractions. Cut the pie into eight equal slices. Then, as the pieces are removed, ask your child what fraction of the pie remains.

3. Incorporate math into your child's favorite game. For example, play tic-tac-toe and review multiplication facts at the same time. Before you or your child can write an X or O on the grid, you must first answer the multiplication problem. This game is simple, quick and fun.

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