Sunday, February 28, 2016

Glass Blowing Tour (posted on 2/5)

On Tuesday our class when to see a glass blowing shop. It was pretty cool. Here are some photos from our visit.

New Civilizations

This week we read the picture book, Weslandia. In this book, a young boy named Wesley creates his own civilization in his backyard. Based on a central crop he creates, housing, clothing, entertainment, tools, and commerce. 

In keeping with our "Systems" theme, we have been studying and discussing the different ways our society runs and how societies develop. Our Stick Game is a part of this discussion, although the students are still working on how to make it work better.

In the coming weeks we will be creating our own brand-new civilization. We will have a giant territory for the entire class, with language and general cultural signifiers. The students will each create their own specific territory. At each step in the creation of our civilization, we will look at how different cultures have dealt with that stage of development.

It will be exciting to see what we come up with.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Come See the Museum

Our Artifact Museum is up!!

Many moons ago, we went to an antique store in search of treasure.  That's probably why we went to the Treasure Mart.

We then "discovered" the secret stories behind these precious relics.  We then wrote these stories down for posterity.  We went though several drafts and had to help others edit them.  Please come and visit our fantastical museum.

See if you can figure out which artifact belongs to which story.

Even Alexander has a story to tell, but you have to use your imagination to fid out what it is.

Stick Game Update

Charity vs. Social Change

We played our stick game again today.  The results were very interesting.

A lot of laws were passed and all of them got voted away.

They passed the "No Taxes" law again, but it was repealed when they realized that the government would run out of money.

They then proposed that a person would get exactly 10 sticks every time they answered a question correctly.  I thought that this was a good law, but the students thought they would run out of sticks and repealed it on a vote.

When the concept of the injustice suffered by those that were persecuted for picking up sticks the government left on the floor came up, one of the persecuted teams passed a law that said, "If you are caught by ANYONE stealing sticks off of the floor, you have to give them back and pay a one stick fine."  Another good law, I thought.  Again repealed by the students that weren't being persecuted, for they outnumbered the ones that were.  They, interestingly enough, couldn't understand why everyone wouldn't want this law to go away.

 The system passed a law that if no one got the answer to a question correct then everyone owes 1stick.  The poorest team paid to get the law overturned. When the repeal of the law was vetoed, they didn't have enough sticks to pay to put it to a vote.  The other teams chipped in to pay for a vote.  It was repealed.

At one point, I started being very unfair with the wealth distribution and would only give a few sticks to one group while I paid other groups handfuls of sticks.  Soon one team ran clean out of sticks.  When I pointed this out, some people would give the poor team a few sticks.  Others said things like, "Why would I give them sticks? I like being rich."  No one even tried to pass a law that would overcome the injustice that made them poor in the first place.

I am curious to see what happens next week.