Launching a PBL can come in many different forms. But the week before winter break, coupled with cabin fever due to the arrival of California's first big rain, made for madness in the gym to be the appropriate launch for our Olympic Sochi 2014 PBL.
By nature, the Olympics are Global. Countries putting their differences aside and coming together in the name of sport. Athletes from all over the world empathizing with one other through events, victories, struggles, triumphs and more. Knowing I wanted to continue using global stats in my classroom, and with scatterplots coming up in the curriculum, I decided to launch:
"How can we use historical results from the Olympics to predict results in Sochi 2014?"
For this project I needed to grab enthusiasm for the Olympics. I wanted them to think about the different sports, the difference of a tenth of a second, and how results from the past would help predict the future. We headed to the gym, designed a course, and were off to the races!
Just to spice things up for the rest of the week, the boys also chose countries to follow and represent in our classroom. Everyday their country earns a Gold we will play the national anthem of that country. Because we launched the day before the games began, we played the anthem of our classroom winners: Jake and Brooke-Cayman Islands. They were grateful, as they are a little worried if their anthem will be played again (you should check it out, the song makes me want to go to the Caymans). Playing the anthem gave us time to reflect on the importance of it to a country and how one behaves during the playing of it. It brought the energy from the games down too.
The launch? It was successful. The boys came in to class last period on Friday ready to gather stats and investigate the different events in the games. Luge, Biathalon, Speed Skating, Downhill skiing, and Moguls... the boys are ready to predict the winning times! I can't wait to see what they come up with:)