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ERIC Number: EJ1160011
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
An Architecture Design Project: "Building" Understanding
Bush, Sarah B.; Albanese, Judith; Karp, Karen S.; Karp, Matthew
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v23 n3 p162-169 Nov 2017
Middle school students need relevant, meaningful contexts to apply emerging mathematical ideas. In this project, through the context of an architecture investigation, seventh-grade students engaged in mathematics involving area, surface area, volume, ratios and proportional thinking, number sense, and technology integration. Students, working in mixed-ability groups, were given an occupant scenario, which they used to build a home designed to meet the needs of their unique residents. After initial drawings of plans followed by critiques from a practicing architect, they finalized designs and carried out mathematical tasks related to their plans. As a culminating event, student groups presented their home plans to local stakeholders, including peers, an architect who designed the school building, the district's mathematics curriculum specialist, and teachers from the school, who provided valuable feedback. Throughout the project, students completed a math log to record their mathematical thinking. The project was tested in two seventh-grade classes taught by one of the authors. This Architecture Design Project provided a meaningful context for working with area, surface area, volume, ratios and proportional thinking, number sense, and the integration of technology. Students were motivated and engaged, and they greatly valued the video information and feedback from a practicing architect. In addition to the focus on mathematics, this transdisciplinary project incorporated key elements of engineering design, art, and technology, and it offered an avenue for the classroom teacher to showcase the work of her students to multiple stakeholders. A bibliography is included.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A