Plan a Sleepover: Real World Math Project for Enrichment or Early Finishers

Rated 4.91 out of 5, based on 112 reviews
112 Ratings
Beyond Traditional Math
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
22 pages
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Beyond Traditional Math

What educators are saying

My students absolutely loved this PT. They were so engaged and could see how math is valuable in the real world.
My students were highly engaged and motivated with the learning in this resource. It tapped into their prior knowledge and allowed them to work well in groups to complete the activity.


This real world math project will give elementary students a taste of real world math in the form of a performance task. Students will use their problem solving skills and critical thinking in a fun way to plan a sleepover. This is one of those math resources that your students will BEG to do. It's a real-world situation full of authentic tasks.

Answer that dreaded question "What do I do when I'm done?" with this resource. No more stressing about what to do in your small groups, or for planning a whole class project, or for early finishers. Just save yourself time by printing this project and let them go at it. Students plan all aspects of a sleepover in this open ended performance task! This is also an awesome project for students who are in need of enrichment while you reteach other students. This project only requires basic math, but using that math in complex ways.

What is in the problem?

There are 11 in-depth problems within this gigantic math task (each step is it's own problem) walking the student through what they need to do. The problems integrate math, reading and writing. It is challenging, open ended, and is a perfect way to practice performance tasks. Everything you need for the problem is included.

Each section is a half or full page of reading to help students practice reading for understanding in math problems. The problems are open ended, meaning that students can come to more than one answer. The problems are deep, multi-step and require perseverance. You will notice that the Standards for Mathematical Practice are embedded within these performance tasks.

What age are the problems appropriate for?

These challenges are appropriate for end of the year 3rd grade (or gifted 3rd graders anytime), 4th grade and possibly for struggling 5th graders.

How can this problem be used?

They could be used as an assessment, test prep, a partner activity, for small group work, as work for students who have finished assignments early or for gifted and talented small groups. Each part of the problem most likely will take more than one class period to complete.

The problem steps and their curricular focus:

1. Who is Invited? They put together an invitation list, including addresses of their friends (address writing- a lost letter writing art!)

2. Theme: They choose a theme for the party and explain their creativity (paragraph writing)

3. Invitation: They design the invitation for the party (invitation writing, dates, addresses, phone numbers)

4. Invitation Cost: They choose between two printers who charge differently (money - dollars or euros, number and operations, multiplication, addition)

5. & 6. Food/Breakfast Time: They choose what meals and food they would serve, using quantity. (money - dollars or euros, number and operations, multiplication, addition)

7. Activities: They get to add plan out what activities they'd like to do and calculate the cost. (money - dollars or euros, number and operations, multiplication, addition)

8. Activities Schedule: They plan out the time that everything begins and ends (elapsed time)

9. Where will they sleep? They must determine the area of the rooms of their home where they students will be sleeping, and then draw a blueprint of where all the furniture is, and where the sleeping bags will go. (area, multiplication, measurement-both customary and metric available)

10. Put it all together: They calculate the cost of the entire party (money - dollars or euros, double digit addition)

11. Letter writing: In the end, they write a letter to their parents explaining their choices and the final cost of the entire project. (letter writing, organization and ideas, conventions)

A rubric for scoring each of the problems is at the end of the set. There is not answer key since this is an open ended problem and answers will vary. In addition there is an addendum for the conversion of U.S. dollars to Euros)

If you like performance tasks and open ended problems:

More Open Ended Performance Tasks (Great test prep!)

More Open Ended Problem for deep thinking!

Total Pages
22 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use place value understanding to round whole numbers to the nearest 10 or 100.
Multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10–90 (e.g., 9 × 80, 5 × 60) using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
Multiply or divide to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem, distinguishing multiplicative comparison from additive comparison.
Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, "Does this make sense?" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.


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