1 of the 3 holiday songs prepared by Mrs. Parnas for our UK song exchange.
1 of the 3 traditional holiday songs for our UK exchange.
1 of the 3 traditional songs we sung for our UK exchange.
Our Economics Unit has been fast and furious.  At least that is how I would describe the production of the various products students created to sell at their international Craft fair last Friday afternoon. Ms. Nash, one of our subs asked to join the fun and she had a booth selling cookies.  Students took turns being the consumers and the sellers.  They  learned about the impact of price on supply and demand.

Today they all participated in the unique Assembly Line Challenge. Some had a little experience with creating assembly lines when they produced their first products.  This time i offered a challenge.  Each continent was competing for the opportunity to win a trade agreement.  I told them I had no work force, only penguins but I wished to produce worry beads quickly and accurately.  Each continent was given beads, cut leather strips and about 20 minutes to work out their approach to the challenge.  I walked around asking them to explain the process they intended to use.  They also estimated the time to produce a set for each table member from 4-10 minutes.

When all beads were placed along with the leather strips in the center of the table and hands were in laps, I called GO! In this video you will see them working hard, using teamwork and cooperating extremely well together. Despite some misteps on the way, they pulled together and each on succeeded.

We now call our worry beads, study beads because the 20 beads represent the 20 vocabulary words on our study guide.  The test is next Tuesday.  I  hope they can help fix our economy! It takes team work.
The Eurasian group decided to make magic pyramids.  One group member shared the concept based on a Discovery channel special he's seen the night before.  I found a pattern and printed them out.  The group divided the labor between cutting and folding and taping them closed.  Today they will decorate using various materials and with different messages.  Some will use symbols used in Hieroglyphics.
The Australian group chose to create friendship barceletes because most of the group already had the skills and knowledge of various braiding techniques.  The allocated the measuring and cutting to one member and divided basic and specialty bracelet making up between the other two.
The North American group chose to create outfits for pencils using pipe cleaners, felt and yarn. The may be adding some faux fur hair. Stay tuned!
The South African group chose to design their own Dreamcatchers.  They used pipe cleaners, yarn and beads.  Someone is planning to bring in feathers to add some flair!
The African group chose to make pom pom pets as their product for export.  The materials include: pom poms and googlie eyes and some pipe cleaners and a little construction paper. We may need to use a stronger glue.
Whoa, I like to get ahead of myself.  Some of you may not be familiar with the O.R.E.O. project.  My friend and mentor Jen Wagner and EdTech Specialist at a private Christian School in California has been facilitating online projects for over 10 years.  The key to her success and growing participation has been the simplicity of the online involvement.  Jen has a ning (social networking site) for teachers, a daily blog about EdTech issues and her baby, her Online Projects.  All of these things are accessible through the main website: www.jenuinetech.com.

Back to simplicity.  As a Kindergarten teacher I was involved in the Egg Roll project for several years and loved it.  What is so simple about a project, you ask?  Well Jen has all of the interrelated resources needed to supplement or enhance your current curriculum by using the project as a launch pad for all kinds of wonderful classroom based activities. (She is all about project based learning and using centers for differentiated instruction) The only thing you have to do on the web is to registar for the project and then post your results into a Google Form she creates.

Teachers are very busy and with the potential for technical difficulties which you will see below... It is nice to know that you can still collaborate with thousands of other classrooms by simple adding your classroom results to a growing body of data.Data is a powerful tool. I think Jen is on the right track.  She knows teachers and she also know what's possible to accomplish in the classroom on a given day.  That combination makes her the number one resource for busy teachers on the web.

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