Math in the Middle Institute Partnership


Date of this Version



Math in the Middle Institute Partnership, Action Research Project Report, in partial fulfillment of the MA Degree. Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. July 2009.


In this action research study of a sixth grade mathematics classroom, I investigated how using project based instruction combined with collaborative learning influenced students’ attitudes and beliefs in learning mathematics. I discovered that using a project based approach to instruction helped the students see connections to math and the real world. They felt that math became something exciting instead of just lessons from a book. I also found that most students preferred to work in small groups because they had come to count on their peers for support. They felt that they were more comfortable asking their peers questions in a small-group setting than asking questions in a traditional classroom setting. Through this project based instruction, it also was found that classroom engagement increased when student interest was combined with a variety of challenging and authentic problem-solving tasks. Finally, this action research supports collaborative learning in the mathematics classroom because when children work together it leads to higher self-confidence and positive attitudes.