Wednesday was the day of our much-anticipated SUPER market! This market was the peak of our classroom economy. If you need a refresher on the ins and outs of our classroom economy, I highly recommend scrolling through the previous blog entries before continuing.
What sets the SUPER market apart is that it is the final market of the year, so many people have looots of money to spend. All year I've been reminding them to keep some money saved away for this special event. To make it worth their while, I made sure to get plenty of valuable items for them to purchase, such as snacks, board games, nail polish, and stuffed animals. To add another layer of economic intrigue, the most valuable items were part of a silent auction. The students learned about bidding, and had to keep track of the money they would be spending if they were to win the items they bid on.
The small businesses were also in full swing during the Super Market. Students were selling jewelry, hand-made pillows, posters, collages, and even slime!
I know the students would agree that the Super Market was an awesome way to end our economics unit. Thank you to all who donated throughout the year to make this event possible. Enjoy the pictures below!
After weeks of exploration and study, the 3rd graders know a lot about area and perimeter. To put their knowledge into practice, they are currently working to build a tiny house! Not seeing the correlation? Keep reading!
Architecture and construction are two fields in which area and perimeter are crucial. This is especially true in the tiny house industry, where designers spend much of their time negotiating how to fit all of life's necessities into such a small space. This negotiation created a natural problem-solving opportunity for the students: Imagine you are an architect. A client gives you a list of furniture requirements that they would like to fit into a 17 x 8 tiny house. Can you make this work?
After watching a few videos about the construction and functionality of tiny homes, the 3rd graders were so excited to get started!
Built (pun intended) into this project are many iterations. The students first had to design the base and the walls of their house, keeping in mind the given length and width of each piece of furniture.
When making a blueprint, designers draw their base from the perspective of a bird's-eye view. Imagining their house from this perspective was challenging for the students at first, but they got the hang of it. To complicate things even further, the walls are drawn from a front-view. This means that if an oven is up against a wall, the base would show the stove top, while the wall adjacent to it shows the front of the oven. This spacial-awareness practice was an unforeseen benefit of the project.
The next step was to draw the final draft of the blueprint. This allowed the students to work through any issues they had on the 1st draft and perfect the design of their house.
Many students are on the 3rd step, which is designing and creating 3D furniture. While the length and width of the furniture has been given to them, they get to choose the height. The height of each piece of furniture that touches a wall has to match what they drew on the final draft of their wall. To create 3D furniture, the students start with a bird's-eye view of the piece of furniture, then they draw a "net" along each side (imagine a lowercase "t" with the drawing in the middle and a long strip coming off of each side). Once cut out, the net is folded down and taped to create a 3D box-like piece of furniture. The students must plan carefully, as the net is what determines the height of the object. Creating and placing the 3D furniture is helping the students make sense of their blueprints and see the purpose of designing from different perspectives.
In the end, the students will have a 3-dimensional model tiny home with a fully-designed interior and exterior. They will then find the area and perimeter of each part and answer interview questions from the point of view of themselves as architects. Be sure to stop by the 3rd grade cubbies to see the display!
Last week, we had our second market. To refresh your memory, the market is an in-class event we have each month, where the students run their own small businesses selling goods and services to each other using our class currency. You can read about our first market of the year here. One of the most important aspects of the second market is the opportunity for the students to build upon what happened the first time. As you saw in the previous entry, the students all filled out reflections after the first market. This was a chance for them to process what they bought and why, and what they sold and why. We shared our reflections as a group, which gave business owners an opportunity to make improvements for the next market.
What I noticed at the 2nd market was much more thoughtfulness in the way of organization and planning. Our entrepreneurs realized that in order for their businesses to operate more efficiently, they needed to create a more productive, streamlined approach. Below you will see pictures of the organizational tactics I noticed. Hover over them to read a description!
And just because it's fun to see them in action, here's a video:
We will have one more market this year, giving the students one more opportunity to refine their businesses. I'm hoping to see them make changes to the types of goods they choose to sell, basing it on market demand as seen at the previous two markets. Stay tuned!
Little people, big minds.