Friday, 17 February 2017

Is there a doctor on board?

Yes, there's 27!   Sadly, they're not medical doctors.

Samuel is now Dr. Samuel.
Allie is now Dr. Allie.
Jake is now Dr. Jake.

The kids in Room 2 have all been awarded (imaginary) doctorates in the field of Zoology - with first class honours, I suspect.

The Brief: As zoologists with a global conscience, we are focused on developing captive breeding programmes to help identified threatened species.  We need to choose five animals that are vulnerable; research their breeding habits (recording the number of babies they are likely to have with each pregnancy), and then create a spreadsheet that shows the projected number of births (and therefore benefit of the programme) after seven, twelve and thirty three years.

This learning experience incorporates many skills and is complex in its demands.  Mrs Wallace calls this sort of learning Thinking Skills.  Mrs Wallace loves Thinking Skills.  Mrs Wallace loves pizza, but loves Thinking Skills more.

So what are the kids learning?

1. The kids are being encouraged to see that can be agents of change in the world.
2. The kids are learning to think critically, e.g. that some animals are endangered as a consequence of their sluggish breeding habits. This fact will affect the success of their breeding programme.  Another threatened animal could be significantly boosted by human intervention because the birth rate is affected by conditions that can be altered and controlled.  The children need to think carefully about the animals they include in their breeding programme.
3.  The children are being asked to use mathematical reasoning, e.g. BaiLin asked how to record data on an animal that has between 1 - 4 babies per breeding season.  Mrs Wallace suggested BaiLin (strong in mathematics) put 2.5 per year, and then asked him to consider how this was possible.  Mrs Wallace talked to BaiLin about using the average, calculated over a two year period.  BaiLin loved the fact Mrs Wallace challenged his existing belief that it's impossible to have a half baby.
4.  The children are learning to use technology; more importantly they are learning that they can tell computers how to think, and that they can do work for us, e.g. when inputting formulas into Google Sheets.  The kids loved it when Mrs Wallace changed one number on her sheet, and then by simply pushing 'enter' the spreadsheet data completely changed.  Mrs Wallace pointed out she was not a magician, but had simply made the computer her slave.

Here is Mrs Wallace's spreadsheet.  As you can see it's incomplete.  Can anyone remind me about the formula I need to use?!  Email me your answer.

Btw, the dictzy dog is SERIOUSLY on the brink of extinction! ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment