The wheels of creativity are turning for our little entrepreneurs, and a few have already developed a plan for their business ventures! This is a chance for each student to showcase a talent that he/she feels would have value to others. I am pleasantly surprised by how many of them are planning to do performance art at our market! Here's what has been submitted so far:
Now that we have studied economic concepts like resources, scarcity, goods, and services, the 3rd grade is embarking on a new journey -- our own mini-economy!
Here's how it works: each week the students rotate through jobs like: door holder, librarian, veterinarian, and supply straightener. At the end of the week the students will receive a salary for completing their classroom jobs. They can earn bonuses for going above and beyond in their jobs, and can lose pay for not doing their best. They will keep track of their earnings and have the opportunity to spend their money at our monthly market. But they must be wise, because at the end of the year there will be a SUPER market, where they can buy more expensive, big-ticket items.
In order to make our economy feel authentic, we held a design contest for our class currency. The top 4 favorite designs became the 1, 5, 10, and 20 bills. Here are the winning designs:
We then voted to name our currency, and the students settled on "bunny bucks," a decision at which nobody is surprised. Next, we chose a symbol -- bb -- and our currency was complete! After this week, students either have bb5 or bb7 in their bunny bank, depending on the difficulty of this week's job.
Our mini-economy does not stop there. No, the students have worked too hard learning about how businesses work to stop there. The final, and perhaps most exciting, piece of our mini-economy is the opportunity for entrepreneurship! If a student would like to earn extra income, he/she can start his/her own small business selling a good or service at the monthly market. A student with a talent for bracelet-making can sell bracelets. A more task-oriented student could start a cubby-cleaning business. Whatever they decide, they must fill out a business plan and have it approved by me. Then, they must make an advertisement so that the consumers know what products are available for purchase at the market. With such a creative class, I'm excited to see what they come up with! If you are too, keep an eye on the blog!
My final note on the mini-economy involves you, the parent. If you have small items or big-ticket items that you would like to donate to the market, please send me an email. The more diverse the market is, the more incentive the students will have to do their jobs well and start a business of their own!
Today we celebrated Martin Luther King Day by focusing on one of his most powerful legacies: his words. After recalling what we learned about the Civil Rights Movement earlier in the year, we did some math to figure out that Dr. King died only 48 years ago. The students were surprised to learn that he died in 1968, not 1988, 1992, or 2001, as some of them guessed.
Next, we watched a moving presentation of the book Martin's Big Words. This video describes the significance of words in Dr. King's life and how he used them to encourage and inspire others. His own voice, along with spiritual hymns, are layered behind the story, adding to its emotional effect. You can watch the video below.
After watching and discussing the video, the students were given their own copy of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous I Have a Dream Speech. They were instructed to highlight "big" or "powerful" words in the speech. They then used those words to create a found poem that expressed the importance of the Civil Rights Movement.
The results were stunning.
For the past 2 weeks, the 3rd graders have been studying a current event that has to do with economics. I chose 3 current events, and assigned one to each group. I split the class into five small groups, so 3 groups worked separately on the same current event.
Each group was given an article from News ELA about their current event. Over the course of a week and a half they read the article many times, each time with a different focus. They searched for a problem and a solution, they found examples of resources, producers, and consumers, and they answered open-ended comprehension questions about their article. After fully digesting all that the article had to offer, the groups were given the task of creating a presentation to teach the class about their event. I gave them the option of writing a song or poem, doing a skit, creating a poster or comic, or writing a paper. The students were SO ready for me to stop explaining so they could get to work! Take a look at how busy they were creating their presentations.
Three groups were ready to present today, and the rest will present on Friday. Below are their presentations. Can you tell what their article was about?
The rest of the presentations will be posted later this week!
Today we integrated math and art by making spirolaterals. After a good syllable-dissection of the word itself, I demonstrated the steps to making a spirolateral for the 3's multiplication family. Once you decide which number you will work with, you list its products in order until they reach double-digits. For the 3s family, the products were 3, 6, and 9. You then repeat these numbers in order about 5 times. Next to those numbers, you begin this pattern of directions - right, down, left, up. You now have a map to create your spirolateral! The students decided where on their graph paper to start, and what colors to use for each number. Then they simply had to follow the directions - 3 spaces right, spaces down, 9 spaces left, 3 spaces up, and on and on. The 3's spirolateral will always look like the one above. Will the others be similar?
As we found out, they are all quite different! Some spirolaterals have a clear end, like the 3's above. Some were a simple rectangle or square, and some created a never-ending series of loops.
Here we have the spirolateral for the 1's family. This turned out to be the most interesting one. The 1's family repeats a series of 9 numbers, as opposed to the just 3 numbers that the 3's family had. As they followed each step in their map, the students were so excited to see their pattern coming together into an interesting figure.
Little people, big minds.