It's Not Always BIG- Scientific Notation and Population

While many of the lessons I blog about are part of a larger unit/Pbl, the fact of the matter is going global in my math class is more then just that.  I try hard to connect my students with others on a regular basis.  While the study of scientific notation has natural connections to their science class, I launched my class the other day with a discussion about the world population.  Using this website, the students were able to look at population, population growth and consider population density.  

The boys started by choosing 5 countries that resonated with them. While I only had time to have them share 1 of their countries in class, they were excited to have choice and they selected places based on population, places they have visited, places they dream of visiting and heritage. It was interesting to listen to how they connected.  From there, as you can see in the worksheet, they had to find the population, round it, and place it in scientific notation.  One of their wonders, "will China's population growth change now that they have no restrictions on number of children?"  (Great opportunity to talk about statistics, and good data sets based on information over time)  

The boys seemed to be able to understand the importance of using the same base number (range 1 to less than 10) when we listed the order and it was no longer a challenge to order them.  Additionally they were able to better connect that the exponent was connected to the place value.  What an "Aha" moment we had!

After the discussion the boys moved through the real life statistics on the backside of the worksheet.  The boys had big feelings as they continued to practice scientific notation, and remarked that the stats made them sad.  They connected this to their recent water walk with 1st grade and the poverty project we did earlier this year. In the end, this 1 1/2 hour lesson allowed them to gain greater appreciation for their surroundings, and consider ways they can advocate and help others.  Their words, not mine! 

 

"The real world data in this lesson really helped me master it!" -Malyk

So the lessons aren't always BIG and numbers for scientific notation aren't always BIG... but I hope the impact is.  

Annual Reports 2015 - Celebrating Another Great Year

It's been a busy week or so in 6th grade math as the boys prepared to present their Annual Reports to peers, parents and Kiva Executives.  The boys did a great job presenting their materials, allowing the crowd to vote on a loan, and sharing their stories.  Take a moment to check out their presentations.  Consider showing your support by joining the Town School Friends and Family lending page.  

You will see their presentations hyperlinked to the company name on slide #6 here.

Excited to have another $925 in the Town School for Boys lending team to share with entrepreneurs and others around the world.  Well done Class of 2017!




Educating About Kiva = Change Makers?

The 6th grade boys have been actively educating our K-8 community about kiva.org.  Visiting classrooms, creating developmentally appropriate presentations and asking and answering tough questions truly allows me to see the knowledge and skills they have attained through this project thus far and the empathy they are feeling for others across the world.  

The boys have presented to many grade levels and grandparents/special friends over the course of the last few weeks.  They have gotten good at feeding their peers questions in order to round out the presentations, speak firmly about their thoughts and answer tough questions about the importance of micro finance, the issues with global poverty, what's been their favorite part about working with Kiva and my fave from a 2nd grader...

So would you consider yourselves change makers?
— Town School 2nd Grader

In addition to a clear introduction and a Q and A session many of the groups presented the boys with a multimedia component.  Take a moment to enjoy.  More on they way!

Kindergarten-Second Grade

Kiva as Superhero's - Poverty the Villain

Third-Fourth Grade

About Kiva

Upper School and Greater Community

Save a Life (New Version Coming Soon)

What is Kiva?

Kiva Celebration 2014

Another year of lending at Town School.  School total to equate to $7773 by the end of the week.  Happy Lending!

Boys reconsider goals for products and for lending while working through a chalk talk. Everyone has voice as they write their responses and respond.

Boys reconsider goals for products and for lending while working through a chalk talk. Everyone has voice as they write their responses and respond.

Not a bad total for a school that only began lending less than 3 years ago. Here's to another year of making a difference!

The sixth grade boys of 2013-2014 at Town School for boys embraced micro lending like those before them.  Excited and nervous all the same.  They put their heads into running businesses that would further promote global education, lead them to an understanding of global citizenship and allow for them to think way beyond the doors of 2750 Jackson Street.  This experience of course had it's ups and downs.  With half the campus in another location, the boys at times struggled to keep momentum going with just upper school clientele.  But they powered through, collaborating, problem solving, empathizing, and mostly enjoying themselves along the way.  And while it wasn't perfect, is running a business ever going to be?  

From stress balls, to fat dots, to silly puddy, custom t-shirts, erasers and more... the boys held weekly sales and convinced peers to embrace the movement!

From stress balls, to fat dots, to silly puddy, custom t-shirts, erasers and more... the boys held weekly sales and convinced peers to embrace the movement!

I am proud of these boys.  I am proud of what they have accomplished.  I am proud of the money they earned for entrepreneurs around the world.  And mostly I am proud to know that each one of them has accomplished and contributed to something greater than themselves. Perhaps it's true that one sixth grade class in San Francisco, California cannot possibly solve the issue of global poverty... but then again we can try.

 

Sharing our mission with other classrooms around the world. Check out the  youtube video  from our friends:)

Sharing our mission with other classrooms around the world. Check out the youtube video from our friends:)

 

 

 

Please take the time to learn from these boys as they reflect on their experiences in a variety of ways.   Here's to another year of "kiva'ing" as we call it in the garage. $899 dollars strong for these young men!  

 

 

 

 

Here are the media components to our celebration.  Well done boys.  As a community we will have a total of $7773 in loans to kiva once I get each of you to make those loans!

Town Toys Inc.

How have we successfully or unsuccessfully simulated microfinancing?  

Infographic

Thingamajigs for Less

How has our experience with microlending changed our outlook

on poverty around the world?

Infographic

Kustom Clothes for Kiva

What is the hardest part of being in a business?

Infographic

Novelty Toys

Who’s lives have we changed through Kiva.org and how?

Infographic

GTS Aerial Products

How can we encourage other students to be good global citizens?

Infographic

Tiger Swag

What did we learn about being both a borrower and lender using microfinance?

Infographic


 

 

 

 

 

Timeline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



It's the little things. #globalmath

While many of the global projects and activities I write about are large and may be overwhelming to other educators just starting their journey to becoming a global educator, other times I create lessons that simply touch on global as I transform lessons from my traditional math class into something with a global twist.  

This week the 5th graders are practicing powers of 10 and scientific notation.  After having them watch a video at night on the concepts #flippedclass, and working through a few traditional warmups with buddies, I handed them this worksheet and allowed them to discover a little bit about the world we live in for further practice.  This lesson proves that you don't have to sacrifice core elements of your curriculum to go global, but rather you simply use the statistics of the world to practice concepts you are teaching.  Why couldn't they discover more than 5?

Using geohive the boys worked through this document.  I have imaged it here too.

The boys started to choose countries that many of them had never heard of.  And within their inquiry they also discovered population growth and how it differs from country to country.  This led to informal discovery to "why", with small conversations about disease, poverty etc... It was fun for them to look around the room and relate this to the millenium goal posters my 7th graders had made.  The real fun was then watching them use google earth, 360 cities and www.ifitweremyhome to learn more about their chosen countries. Rewarded with this 10 minutes of inquiry, they had no problem heading home to practice their skills a little more.  #balance #blendedlearning

While I continue to hear people say that it's hard to make math global, while reading this recent blog post by Homa Tavangar the following really resonated with me:  "As practice is built around the integration of global themes in everyday learning, you will begin to find that you no longer have to make a difficult either-or decision between test results and global know-how, or between fulfilling mandated curricular requirements and bringing the world to your students. Successful implementation of global education can expand what you thought was possible and create a more fulfilling, productive, life-long learning process for your students and for you—before you even buy plane tickets".  

To me, it's strange not to go global on even the simple things anymore.  The more you immerse yourself in it, the deeper you get, the more you will realize that their is no turning back. Start with a passion and transform it into practice, it will be rewarding for all. 

Where in the World is Sierra Leone? Hmm... I Wonder?

Where is Sierra Leone?

Let's start there. When I was 12 years old, I likely couldn't even answer that question. In fact, I might not have even known to ask it.  But in the last few days I have had the unbelievable opportunity to expose my students and allow them to think and wonder about life nearly 7,000 miles away.  With a little help from www.ifitweremyhome.com, wonder they did...

  • Why is there more of a class divide?
  • Why do they live shorter lives? Why is the chance of dying in infancy so much greater?
  • If they spend so much on health care, what is health care like there?
  • What is it like to make 98% less money than the US but have 2.8 more children?
  • What would it be like to live without electricity?
  • Why is the average annual income only the equivalent of $900 while in the US it is $46,000. 
  • What causes people to die sooner?
  • Does birth control even exist is Sierra Leone?
  • Is their a class hierarchy? 

And to sum it up, I wonder if all of these things are related?  

We had the wonderful opportunity to have the boys listen to Jennifer Klein talk about her 3 week journey to Sierra Leone and address some of their wonders.  We are just at the beginning of our journey, but as we embrace global word problem solving we are sure to dig deeper about the world we share with so many others and challenge our minds.  

Thank you Sierra Leone for sharing these wor(l)d problems with us.  We can't wait to learn more about you, your community and your country in the future!  Word Problems Here:)

Disclosure:  We received these word problems on lined paper and Jennifer was able to lend her camera for the pictures.  I scanned them and placed them in this document to share with others.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Equation Writing: Connecting Algebra to Kiva Project

While math is everywhere in our micro lending project, it's a this point in the year that I am really excited to work through equation writing, solving multi-step equations, proportions, ratios and percent increase and decrease. This is some of the material that I find it so easy to connect to our project and it challenges the boys in new and exciting ways. Every year I create new problems using the financials of the companies within the class.  During the next few weeks I hope to share through "Stories from the Garage" some of the ways I use our project to help teach these math skills and empathy as we use these math skills to explore what other places in the world look like.  

Todays lesson is to introduce simple equation writing and solving.  See it here.