I’ve been thinking a lot about education these days. With all the Common Core buzz that is blowing up our social media and news, one can’t help but think about it. Over the winter break, I had the chance to sift through one of my best friend’s second grade common core, Greek myth books. It was overwhelming for me to wrap my head around. Why in the world are 2nd graders doing Greek myths? How is this meaningful to them? I teach at a private school and take for granted that I can teach passion. I can teach what I love, and when I see passion in a student, we can go in a completely different direction to follow their lead. Imagine that! passion!
Here is a quote that sums up my thoughts on education…..
“Tell Me and I Forget. Teach Me and I Remember. Involve Me and I Learn.”
This is not new, in fact it was Benjamin Franklin that is responsible for this quote. Why have we moved so far away from it?
This week, our girls completed their last “three little pig” challenge. They tested their house of sticks and bricks designs, and in the middle of the excitement, they were completely submerged in math! (Although they probably would never even known, if I didn’t point it out!) All they knew were they were having fun and and the math just naturally happens. They were involved, invested, exploring. They were just being girls!
The girls second mission was to build a house for the three little pigs out of sticks and bricks.
We sat down to discuss the next task and how the homes had to be durable. The hair dryer would not work for this particular task. The big bad wolf’s strength would be represented with weight – dictionaries to be exact. They selected a choice of sticks (Keva blocks) or bricks (Legos) and just for “cool factor” one girl selected to build a house of sticks with a little help from Bionic Blox. The girls predicted the Bionic Blox would be more durable than the Keva blocks.
They immediately started working. I was surprised how fast they were “done” and ready for the weight test. (Perhaps next time I have to have more requirements for the homes beside they have to fit the pig. They squeezed those little pigs into some pretty small homes). Legos went up, tested, and fell. Flat Keva blocks held pretty well and I was even stunned by just how much weight the Bionic Blox could hold.
Here are the girls in action. They had to build their home. Test it with dictionaries and weigh the “load” on the scale. I said if their home could hold five dictionaries then they passed the wolf test. Many built more than one kind of home. They also weighed the dictionaries in grams.
Claire and Elizabeth chose the Keva blocks. They immediately decided on a low and flat design
Testing with dictionaries
Madison loves horses and insisted her little pig needed a horse barn. She decided to build it big!
Bionic Blox are holding 14 dictionaries!
recording the weight – over 25,000 grams! wow!
Many are on their second homes!
Ali is trying out the Bionic Blox – she has a great design.
recording grams sheet
Claire and Addy testing the durability – looks good to me!
Anika is showing us where the commas go
The end of our time we spent going over our numbers, improvements, and I learned quickly we needed to focus some attention on reading big numbers. Our place value unit was back in September, and most of the girls needed a refresher course.