G3's 'How the World Works' inquiry has really started to gather great pace and momentum. We have been exploring the geology below TIS. To do this, we took samples of the soil and then inspected it very thoroughly, both with our hands and our digital microscopes.
We also looked at some historic geology taken by some TIS Secondary students. We learnt from their data that there is water, air, silt, peat, graphite, potassium, clay, humus and some other very small traces of rarer minerals within the TIS soil.
We have also taken some soil assays of the land where the new Elementary building will be built on. This is just to see what is below the ground before construction begins, we need to get more data about if there are any valuable minerals in this part of the campus. Our assays will be tested over the holidays....
Visible Thinking - Diamond Ranking (of metals)
As a starting activity to see the children's prior knowledge of valuable metals, we used the Visible Thinking routine of 'Diamond Ranking' to see 2 things. What metals the children ranked as the most and least expensive. Also, which metals they ranked as the most and least useful. Of course, as with many of these routines, the most important part is WHY the children rank each metal where they do. It is their reasoning and explanations of their thinking that is critical. This gives lots of information and helps to make sure that the inquiry moves forward in the most appropriate and exciting way possible.
$10,000 Stock Market Challenge - Economics
Our first line of inquiry is 'How we use and value minerals'. So, as a way for the children to see how the world markets buys and sells metals (largely online) we have set up some virtual trading accounts for the children. The money they are using is pretend, but they are using live prices from the stock market as they try and turn their $10,000 into a healthy profit.
The mathematics value in such an activity is huge. Not only are the children calculating their trade accounts accurately using large numbers (with decimals), but they are also looking at finding trends and patterns within the data available to them in tables and online graphs. They are also starting to gain an understanding of why prices might go up or down and how supply and demand determines the price that the market will pay. This project will continue to run throughout the unit. After one week, team MMM seems to be building a significant lead. (Ask your child who is in MMM).
The related concept that we have been focusing on over the last few days is 'economics'. To explore this further, every child has been issued with $600 of 'Matt Money'. They then have been trying to consider a series of deals and challenges to try and find out if they are good or bad value. They have been thinking about the risks involved with each challenge and whether the reward is mathematically acceptable. Ultimately, we have been focusing on looking deeper into problems and to try and find the maths within each deal.
Problem Solving with Manipulatives and Matches
G3 have been spending time trying to solve tricky multi step problems. To do this they have been focusing on how they organise and set out their work during a mathematical investigation. The emphasis has been on pausing and really considering which strategies are appropriate for each problem. We have been aiming to be logical and have been trying to verbalise our reasons for each strategy and to justify all of our steps.
Below are some logical (video) problems for you to try and solve as a family.
Geology Holiday Padlet
Over the upcoming holiday G3 can keep in contact with each other by recording interesting geology that they discover on this class padlet page. Please help / assist your child to upload photos and videos of any exciting rocks or minerals that they may come across. Also, please encourage them to include a description with what they think it might be, what it's function could be and what it's value might be.
Our next line of inquiry is 'Geology driving technology'. So, to really understand what geology (and minerals in particular) are used in technology we want to take apart old electronic equipment to see what is inside. If you have an old phone, computer or hairdryer (or anything like this) that you no longer use (and don't want back) it would be wonderful if you could donate this to G3.
We will start experimenting / disassembling the old technology after the holidays, so please send in anything you have on the first Monday back (9th April).
Happy Navruz (belated)
Growth Mindset of the Week
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Thank you for all your support and help over the last term. The weeks are flying by, I cannot believe that we only have 9 weeks left together after the holidays.
Have a wonderful holiday and safe travels if you are leaving Tashkent over the break.
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