Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Grade Point Average -- Middle & High School Math Project

An attempt to cure the shortsightedness of underclassmen

It’s Friday. The Friday. The Friday that signals the end of the grading period. Students dig deep in their backpacks, bake a dozen cookies to schmooze a teacher and turn in as many missing assignments as possible before the final bell. The Honor Roll, the basketball team, and everyone’s cell phone privileges are decided on this day. As important as it is, some students are not sure how to calculate their GPA.Perhaps that changes in this new 
21st Century Math Project.

Name: Grade Point Average
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (Algebra skills)
Math Concepts: Using Formulas, Solving Equations.
Interdisciplinary Connections: Grades, Academics, Advisory
Teaching Duration: 3-4 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $5 for a 18 Page PDF (1 project and handouts) 
PDF Version: Grade Point Average @ TPT

The Product: Students will analyze transcripts of soon-to-be high school seniors and determine what their grades must be to meet their goal and make suggestions about how they can do it. 

Can I play soccer, dude?

This pains the soul of the math teacher. In this project, students are not just asked to calculate a simple GPA. They are assess the goals of fictional students and determine the grades they will need to reach them. This allows students to solve basic equations and use simple formulas. Content-wise this can be a perfect fit at the end of the first quarter of an Algebra class and could work in a Middle School or High School. However the usefulness of the assignment could assist students at all levels.

In creating the assignment, I have not used weighted grades (colleges don't either!) and I have used 90-100 A, 80-89.999 B... grading scale.

Please help kids understand this. I'm
tired of have 3 kids in our AP courses.

In this 18 page document you will be given a mapping to the Content Standards, an outline for how to implement the project, handout resources for students to use, and an answer key. In all it is three different assignments --

-- In “Grade Point Average” students use report card data to calculate GPAs and determine what grades students need to meet their goals.

-- In “The Hypothetical Game” students will determine the difference between boosting those percentages up in the last week of the quarter. What impact will it have on their overall GPA? Students will find out.

What's college?

-- In “The Transcript” students learn the difference between an “Academic” GPA and the GPA that appears on their transcript. The "Academic" GPA is the measurement that many colleges use which eliminates arts and elective classes from the equation. In this project, students will set goals for the senior years of four different characters to help them achieve their goals. Unless it’s too late.


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