My Family

My Family

Thursday, May 23, 2013

When I Grow Up

This year we have been looking for ways to really differentiate between our on-level classes and advanced classes. On a day to day basis, we generally move a little faster in the advanced classes and we ask more higher level thinking questions. Not so much practicing the "how" but understanding the "why" and then applying it to story problems. To sum it up, it's more problem solving. But we also wanted something more concrete for our advanced students, so we decided to do a 1st semester project and a 2nd semester project. I have not shared the first semester project on here, but hopefully I will do that next year. Second semester went by so quickly, we really didn't decide on anything. However, I ran across a wonderful blog that had an awesome idea for 6th graders and it incorporated a lot of what we learned throughout the year. So I thought I would give it a try. It's a career project called "When I Grow Up." If you want to check out the original source for this project and a lot more GREAT ideas go the Math-n-Spire. She has several great ideas especially for middle school students. I had to alter her original project quite a bit because she works at a Christian Academy and I am at a public school! But here it is!

The time frame for this project is about 3-4 weeks. I had them complete everything at home. Most of the time it took a whole class period to explain each section, but they don't actually get to work on it during class. I selected a day to start and then I passed out these two papers and went over them.

 After we went over everything I passed out their Career Project Worksheet #1, which looks like this.

The students had one week to complete this portion. On the day that I selected for them to be turned in, I made sure I had time to grade them that evening or the next, so there wasn't too much time between the 1st and 2nd worksheets. You just need to make sure their information is close to what an actual person doing that job would be. For instance, if they said a teacher would be making $100,000 a year, I would probably have them research again! :) When I was finished grading all papers, I handed them back with the necessary corrections and then handed out worksheet #2 which looks like this. Again, it took about a whole class period to go over and explain your expectations for this one as well.

This is the bulk of the math involved. They are making a budget for what they can spend on different things with the amount they are making. Something to keep in mind, the initial worksheet asks the students to list the starting out pay and a "seasoned veteran's" pay, so when they made their budget, I made them use their starting out pay. I let the students have a week to complete this. You may want to give them two weeks if you have a busy schedule going on with your every day class stuff. But I have found that no matter how much time you give kids, they always wait until the last minute anyway. Again, the day you select to have them turn this in, make sure you have time in the evenings to grade it. When I got these all graded and I passed them back, I gave them one day in class to start working on their projects. I reserved a computer lab for those working with powerpoint or creating a movie. They probably could have used 2 days in the computer lab, but I emphasized that most of this project will be done at home.

Lastly, here is the evaluation I used to assess them.

In total, it is worth 200 points. I made two per page so there would be less copying! :)

Overall, the students did an AWESOME job! I was really excited to see all of them dress up and look professional. I didn't get too many pictures, but here are a few.

professional athlete

all in the medical field!
I believe that if you save the photos of the project to your computer you can convert the file to pdf or whatever format you want. I use the file converter website
Does anyone else have any great projects that you use with your students that you would recommend?
Happy Teaching!!


  1. Dear Jillian and Trevor,

    We are creating an online OCS course for high school students in my school district. I would like to use some of your posted texts in our course. For example, I am looking at When I Grow Up project and would like to copy the text to a virtual reader I am producing for the students.

    We will cite your website and give credit for the work we use. This text would go a long way in helping our students understand the different concepts we are teaching regarding applicable research and life planning.

    Thanks for your consideration.
    Allison Sweeney

    1. Absolutely! Use whatever you would like! :)
      I'm glad that someone is finding these useful.