Monday, October 31, 2016

How We Organize Ourselves Provocation

The students in Grade 3 were recently introduced to the concepts of supply and demand through a fun and interesting marketplace simulation activity. 

This provocation activity had students buying, selling, and trading different coloured pencil crayons in order to become the first to finish colouring a series of four pictures.

Each student began the activity with $100 and the opportunity to purchase one pencil crayon at the opening auction. A range of strategies were employed at the opening auction with some students paying up to $95 for an in-demand pencil, and others holding on to their money until the end of the auction, where they were able to purchase a pencil for just $5.

Following the opening auction, students were given just one minute to use their purchased pencil. They were then given the chance to sell their coloured pencil to another student during a one minute trading period.

As students continued to alternate between one minute working and one minute trading periods, they found that some colours were easier to get than others.

All four pictures required the colour blue, but with just two blue pencils in circulation, many students had to pay a high price for the colour, and some were unable to buy it at all. On the other hand, only one picture required the colour orange, and there were several orange pencils in circulation, so many students struggled to sell the colour.

The activity continued until one student successfully completed all of their colouring.

Immediately after the simulation ended, students counted their money and discussed what they had learned from the activity. The top earners shared the strategies they used to make a profit, and the bankrupt and near bankrupt shared their shortcomings and mistakes.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Power of Peer Teaching

For their Who We Are summative assessment, the students in Grade 3 took on the task of teaching the second graders everything they know about healthy choices. The third graders spent several days reviewing and reflecting upon their learning, in order to select the material they would teach.

The third graders worked collaboratively in small groups to prepare presentations and learning activities that would not only demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, but also engage and educate their second grade peers.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable and educational for all. The third graders did an exceptional job teaching their peers, and the second graders learned some valuable information to help them make healthy choices.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Who We Are Presentations

The summative assessment of the Who We Are unit is the perfect opportunity to pull together the profile, attitudes, and skills that we've focused on the past several weeks. The third graders are working together in small groups to create presentations for the 2nd graders about food and exercise. We started by reviewing our profile and attitude foci and making agreements about how to work together:

We agree to…
  • be excited with positive attitudes (enthusiasm) 
  • work together with teamwork; help and care about each other (cooperation) 
  • work hard by ourselves (independence) 
  • share the work equally (balanced) 
  • reflect on our presentation and think about what we can do better (reflective)

The students then worked together in their groups to create scripts for their presentations.

Throughout the unit we have developed thinking and research skills, and with their finished scripts, the students can now start to concentrate on communication skills. To help them see their own growth, students can use a SOLO taxonomy as they prepare.

Looking ahead, our next unit is How We Organize Ourselves. The central idea of the unit is:

Marketplaces depend on the ability to produce goods 
and supply services that can be exchanged.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Field Trip to Heiwa No Mori Park

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the students in grade three went on a field trip to Heiwa No Mori Park, a large outdoor obstacle course in Ota-ku.

After weeks of learning about healthy choices, and the ways that exercise affects our body and mind, the third graders had a ton of fun testing their strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance on the park's 40 plus obstacles.

All of the climbing, crawling, swinging, traversing and leaping would not have been possible with the kind support of our parent chaperones. We would like to extend a huge thank-you to the ten mothers who gave up their time to help supervise our trip.

Please check out some of the highlights of our trip in the videos below.