The Road Trippin’ Follow Up
A few weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming HyperDoc I created to help students explore ratios, rates, proportion, and scale factor. In this HyperDoc, students were introduced and applied their knowledge of these concepts by creating their own Road Trip. (To read more about this HyperDoc and get your own copy, please read my post “A Ratios & Proportion HyperDoc” post.)
It is important to note that, although this HyperDoc was an enormous and important part of our unit, it was not the only piece of this complicated teaching puzzle. My students still completed notes, as well as a set of skills-based lesson practice. One thing I have tried to do this year is find a balance between all three of these – the notes, the skills practice, and real-life application. Each piece is incredibly important but it must be balanced. Personally, HyperDocs have been a great help in balancing these parts in my classroom.
The feedback that I received from my students on this project was amazing. They really enjoyed it! They had so much fun designing their maps and creating budgets for food, hotels, and gas. Many of the students commented that they enjoyed this HyperDoc project much more than the “Cell Phone Plans: A Systems of Equations HyperDoc” that we completed in February.
In this post, I would like to share with you:
- Examples of student work, as well as the road trip website that contains all of the student creations.
- Five (5) takeaways that I had from assigning this project to my students.
Road Trippin’ Products: Examples of Student Work
In this HyperDoc, students submitted two main pieces of work: 1.) A Google Map that outlines their road trip, including food, hotels, and destinations, and 2.) A Google Doc that explains and breaks down the math within the project.
The Google Maps
One of the first things that the students began creating was the Google Map that outlined their road trip. Each group completed a map in Google My Maps and this accounted for 50% of their grade on the project.
To view all of our road trips, please visit our Road Trip website: Road Trips (16/17)
The students completed all of the Google Maps that are listed within this Google Site. From there, they submitted a title, description, cost, and link to their map via Google Forms and I added this to our website. For the students, they were so excited to see that their work was published on the internet. In addition to this, they found the idea that other people could view and use their road trips to be very relevant and engaging.
The Google Doc
Each student completed a Google Doc that broke down the math behind a road trip. Students explored how to create a Google Map, how to budget for food, gas, and hotels, and how to find the scale factor of the Google Map compared to real life.
Road Trippin’: Three Takeaways & Three Ideas for the Future
1.) Students love projects that have a real-life application.
In Math, students often say, “When will I use this in real life?” Through this project, I was able to offer them some insight into how math is used in the real world and…they loved it! It was relatable and relevant which is instantly interesting and engaging to students.
2.) There is a balance between skills practice and real-life application.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a balance between the skills practice (DOK 1) and the real-life application (DOK 3+). In skills practice, the students should be able to receive immediate feedback on their progress to see if they understand the basic skills practice. In applications, students may be developing a long-term project that is receiving consistent feedback over an extended period of time. Both are important and have their purpose.
3.) By moving from a teacher-centered to a student-centered (with choice!) learning environment, student engagement will increase.
Over the last two years, I have tried to create a learning environment that is student-centered, rather than teacher centered. It is a long process and is constantly being modified but I have found that it has great benefits for students. Again – there is a balance. It is not all one or the other. For myself, I equate it to a scale that is tipping more heavily towards the student-centered side but still has some weight on the teacher-centered side. However, students love being in charge of their own learning and having the option to choose the types of projects that they will explore. This automatically increases buy-in which, in turn, increase student engagement.
Three Ideas for the Future
1.) The students were introduced to the real-life application but there could be a short assessment to see if they understood the important concepts that were being taught.
Although they had a lot of practice in the math concepts listed above, I would be interested in assessing their knowledge of these concepts to determine if they truly understood the material and did not get lost in the “glamor” of creating a road trip. This assessment should be short and could include something skills-based or a performance task.
2.) It would be helpful to create short videos or gifs to walk students through basic technology skills and instructions.
Unfortunately, I know that I lost too much time by explaining the same directions for certain technology skills multiple times. In the future, I need to create short videos or gifs to assist students with these skills if they do not understand the directions.
3.) Some student tend to work with the same students for each project. It would be beneficial to use Flippity to create new groups that would allow for collaboration outside of their regular peer group.
In our environment of student choice, I usually allow my students to choose their own groups. Although this has its benefits, I often worry that my students are not able to learn how to work with students that are outside of their regular peer group. Using Flippity to create random groups could be an excellent option to mix up our classroom groups during future projects.
The HyperDoc took about two weeks for the students to complete but they seemed to enjoy every second of this project. It is a great reminder that we need to spend more time finding ways to create learning environments that are engaging for students but also helps them to reach their learning goals.
As I have mentioned before, I highly suggest that you try the HyperDoc model in your classroom – I promise that it will transform how you teach your students!