Using Math Projects to Facilitate Mini Classroom Transformations

Have you considered using projects in your math class to engage and motivate? Math projects give students the opportunity to see how math is used in real-life situations. Because the topics are typically engaging and interesting, it feels more like fun than like work!

I’m all about the inexpensive, low-prep ways to make learning fun in your classroom, and I’d love to share some ideas with you for how you can incorporate even more fun into these math projects! Many of these ideas have come from the community of teachers who are using my math projects and escape rooms in their classrooms.



Classroom transformations don’t have to be expensive or time consuming! Just a few simple dollar store items can help make a math project into a “WOW” experience for your students. Here are some examples of how you can use math projects to facilitate a mini classroom transformation:

The Camping Math Project is typically an easy theme to use as a mini transformation. Add checkered table cloths, serve hot chocolate, or make s’mores in a pan along with your students to take the Camping Math Project to another level and add a ton of fun! I’ve heard from a few teachers who do a “Camp Read-a-Lot” activity or something similar near the end of the school year.

Another teacher had this to say about the Camping Math Project: “We did this at end of year. The kids brought flashlights and made tents! Low stress after testing fun!”

The Run a Pet Shelter project also lends itself well to a mini-transformation! One teacher set up a “stuffed dog pet shelter” in her classroom as students worked on the project. Another teacher had a local pet shelter bring a dog into the classroom one day! They got to learn first hand about pet shelters! What an awesome experience!

Here’s what one teacher had to say about the Run a Pizza Place project: “This packet + dollar store table cloths + mustaches = EASIEST CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION EVER! This has been so engaging and helped prepare my students for performance tasks in testing!”

Another teacher said: “I purchased the Run a Pizza Place for a student who struggles to get motivated. She did all of the tasks and was rewarded with making her own pizza. A great moment!”

Some teachers have used the Run a Coffee Shop project as a mini transformation as well! Here’s what one person had to say: ”

This is exactly what I needed. We made a real coffee shop after doing some of these sheets. The kids and admin were impressed! We had so much fun that the kids didn’t mind doing fractions.” And another let her students try coffee before beginning the project! Simple, but definitely something that will stick out in her students’ minds! 🙂

Run a Candy Store” also lends itself well to a mini-transformation. One teacher said: “I used this in my special education math class and we actually created a real candy store using the worksheets as assessments. They loved this as a hands on activity.”


Although classroom transformations are one of the most “exciting” ways to use math projects in your classroom, there are many different ways that they can be used.

  • as cumulative projects at the end of a unit
  • in guided math groups
  • to differentiate; students can work on different projects based on the skill that they need to practice
  • as an early finisher activity for those fast finishers in your classroom
  • as an enrichment activity for students who need a challenge
  • to leave for a substitute teacher
  • as homework packages (if you must send homework)
  • for RTI


How do you use math projects in your classroom? I’d love to hear in the comment section below!

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