Friday, January 23, 2015

Play Dough Economics

Snakes and Donuts: This fun economics activity comes from Raki's Rad Resources. Students are given 1 minute to create as many snakes and donuts as they can! There are 7 rounds. Students experiment with working independently, in a partnership (joint-venture) and in a group. One round challenges them to use only half of their play dough because resources are short! Another round has color change the value of their product. Students with a certain color earn more points because that particular color is high in demand. Students learn about "natural resources, human resources, trade policies, supply and demand and value." 

Above are the students in my class making their snakes and donuts. They really enjoyed this economics lesson and it helped reinforce their economics vocabulary. After they made their snakes and donuts for 7 rounds, they calculated their points for each round which integrated math in the lesson! Another important point we discussed prior to the lesson was the importance of craft. We discussed how their goal was to create as many snakes and donuts as they could for each round. However, their snakes and donuts should look nice because companies want consumers to keep buying their product. If they sent out a bad snake or donut they would loose consumers! Their snakes had to be the length of an unsharpened pencil. Once they had a good snake it could be transformed into a donut by connecting the "head" and the "tail." This aspect made their task of creating snakes and donuts even more challenging!

Visit Raki's Rad Resources for a pdf that includes detailed instructions.
Click here for a recording sheet I created to go along with this activity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hidden Helpers

To build classroom community and celebrate holiday cheer in your classroom, implement Hidden Helpers! Each student is assigned a secret pal. They do something nice for their secret pal each week without letting their pal know who his or her hidden helper is. (Rules: No material gifts) Children can provide a helpful hand, compliment or do a favor for their pal.