Thursday, November 23, 2017

21st Century Math Projects is Now Clark Creative Education

The universe is expanding. While 21st Century Math Projects is the crown jewel product line that I've created, to be more descriptive for what I do I have made a brand name change.  

Introducing Clark Creative Education

One of the reasons that the core business has outgrown 21st Century Math Projects is for the past few years I've expanded well beyond math projects. Now with instructional content, activities and worksheets there was a sense among some users that all I provided was math projects. Worse yet, some would think activities or worksheets were projects. 

Then there was a second problem, I've expanded beyond math. Ultimately, as you can imagine, this has been confusing for folks.

Then there was a third problem, since I plan to write engaging content for 50 years -- touting the 21st Century in the year 2067 isn't really cool. 

Nonetheless, the 21st Century Math Project -- PROJECTS will remain the 21st Century Math Projects -- so the name isn't going away completely! :-)

So I had to determine what is the most clear and fully encompassing way to describe what I do. I kept coming back to Creative Education. Education with a twist. Education that elevates the routine into the engaging. Education the morphs application challenges into full-blown decision-making simulations. 

Why does Clark fit? I went a bit back and forth here. Isn't Creative Education a good name? To me, it felt too corporate. Too official. While I expect to grow the content exponentially, I want to be clear that the passion engine is being ran by an individual and not a board of directors or an executive team. 

The official website is coming soon and will allow for subscription access for unlimited course usage -- be excited. I'm excited. 

With this change, you should expect even more CSI, Escapes, Person Puzzles, Whodunnits. All in the name of engaging students through creative education.

Monday, February 9, 2015

21st Century Math Projects on Social Media!

I have really struggled to pull together full blog posts so I've opted to

1.) facebook on the Facebook machine.
2.) twitter on the Twitter machine.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back to School Sale on TPT

Welcome back August! On August 4th and 5th if you use the promo code BTS14 you can receive up to 28% off all items! I have partnered with a number of top secondary teachers who can certainly help get you ready for the year to come. For this ad we went back to school ourselves. Thanks to the Danielle Knight for putting it together!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

CSI: Elementary is Coming!

Stay tuned this summer. After a bajillion requests I've decided to piece together an Elementary version of my CSI units. The focus will be on 4th and 5th Grade Common Core Standards and the topics from those years.

It's coming. It shall be epic.

The units will be:

1. Problem Solving with Addition and Subtraction
2. Problem Solving with Multiplication and Division
3. Measurement and Conversion
4. Lines and Angles
5. Shapes, Area & Perimeter
6. Decimals & Place Value
7. Understanding Fractions
8. Input-Output Tables
9. Representing Data

There may also be a ginormous Elementary project that will bubble to the surface that I've been working on with my pals from NextLesson. As a bit of a teaser these will be real world performance tasks that are designed to capture your students attention and imagination. Exciting times ahead.

Enjoy your summers and may you recuperate and reinvigorate.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Sale!

Peace Math Friends!

Once again I will be participating in TPT's sitewide sale. You can receive up to 28% off by using the Promo Code: TPTXO. Below you will see a number of people who are participating in the secondary world!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

21st Century Math Projects Philosophy

Many people have asked for some advice to develop their own 21st Century Math Projects so I thought I'd
Check out some stuff!
try to articulate what I try to do to help with your own project planning!

I believe that three key elements need to be in place for a super strong math project or lesson. Real World Authenticity, Mathematical Rigor and 21st Century Swagg. If there is a hearty balance of these three things in my experience that's when I bring the learning to the next level. A traditional classroom would fall into the Mathematical Rigor category, but lacks Real World Relevancy or 21st Century Swagg. 

Having students design a car on a computer, without a solid math foundation (or for an appropriate grade level) is a prime example of Real World Authenticity absent Mathematical Rigor or 21st Century Swagg. 
21st Century Swagg Personified!

A lack of 21st Century Swagg may be the product of using a blurry ditto from 1981. Presentation matters. The look of the assignment matters. Humor, if possible, matters. Student interest matters! I can't count how many problems I use from textbooks that start with "In 1991". Most of my students this year were born in 1998. While what happened in 1991 may be important, there are also important things that happened in 2011 that textbook companies just can't keep up with.

Of course there is not necessarily an Authentic Real World project for each math topic you teach. That doesn't mean it's impossible to make one. You just may need to up the dosage of Mathematical Rigor or 21st Century Swagg. My popular CSI projects are examples of this. With the engaging CSI puzzle solving framework (extra 21st Century Swagg) and Mathematical Rigor, a project for any topic is possible. Of course there are Authentic Real World problems in these puzzles, but perhaps nothing meaty enough to expand to a full-blown project. 

I would argue you can't do without any of these ideas. Many might say you can cut out the 21st Century Swagg. Perhaps that's possible, but if student interest isn't there, student engagement may not be. 

Real World Authenticity -- Mathematical Rigor -- 21st Century Swagg. Your might be your new bff. Or it might not be. Go make cool stuff for your kids!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gridiron Glory -- "The Big Game" Data Analysis Paper Football Project

I have heard that Americans like Football. I have also heard about an important game that happens in February. I have heard that it's a day that nachos dread. In this 21st Century Math Project, students will investigate this cultural phenomenon in the best possible way (with data!)

Buckle your chin strap, here comes math in your face and
there is no such thing as unnecessary roughness in my class
Name: Gridiron Glory
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (assignments are aimed at a variety of age groups)
Math Concepts: Data Analysis, Regression and Expected Value
Interdisciplinary Connections: Sports, Advertising
Teaching Duration: 3-5 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $8 for a 21 Page PDF (1 project, 4 assignment and answer keys) 

PDF Version: Gridiron Glory @ TPT

The Product: Students use expected value to guide their decision making in a Paper Football Tournament.

I realized when I first started teaching that students liked three things. Food, Sports and telling the Teacher about all the drama in the school. Luckily I liked food, sports and hearing about all the drama in the school. Actually that's a lie -- my class was a drama free zone. 

Huh? Food! What?
Since I know a number of teachers would be interested in hosting a Paper Football Tournament, I decided to write preliminary assignments for a wide range of learners. All of them could be used in high school, but some would be review. The assignments break down like this:

-- “Bragging Rights”. This assignment is designed more toward middle school students, but can be used for high school review. Students will analyze Super Bowl data to determine which divisions have historically had the most success. They will compute Winning Percentage and construct a bar graph and a pie graph. 

-- “Super Sunday LX”. This assignment is geared more toward students with algebra skills. Students will use historical television data to create lines of best to predict the future. This assignment would work best on TI graphing calculators. This also shows the limits of linear models because the Commercial Cost linear model has serious limitation. 

Great. Even though I don't care about
that icky football stuff, I can learn
about T-tests! That's rigorous!
-- “Super Sunday Predictions”. This is an advanced statistics assignment that will require calculations of Mean, Standard Deviation, Variance and beginning level usage of a T-Test. Students will analyze Points For and Points Against of Super Bowl Winners and Losers to see if there is a significant difference between the means (this is what the T-Test is for). If there is a significant difference, then that could be used to predict the winner of the next Super Bowl. Find out!

-- “Training Camp”. This is a preliminary assignment to the grand finale a Paper Football Championship Tournament! Students will measure their Paper Football skills with a variety of tasks. With the results of the assignment, students will need to calculate their expected value. At the end they will use these four expected values to calculate their “Paper Football Rating”.
I should be teaching next door, but
I really want to play in the Paper
Football Tournament

-- "Paper Football Championship Tournament".  Each game should have two students playing the roles of referee and statisticians. These students should receive the “Drive Log” and mark attempts for further statistical analysis and keep score. The essential question with the Paper Football Championship is "does the Expected Value “Paper Football Ratings” predict who the winner of the tournament will be?" 

You can go as crazy with this as you’d like. If you want students to have team names and coaches, go for it. If you want a prize or a trophy, go for it. You can become the best teacher of all time.

Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth - Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth -