Monday, 30 March 2020

Economics Project - iPhone Example

Below is a sample project created for assessment purposes only. The intention is to look at the rubric to assess if it meets all the standards for this project. If yes, how does it meet them? If no, what can we do to make sure it does? Hint: this project does demonstrate a lot of learning; however, there is definitely room for improvement - your challenge is to identify the next steps to make it better.

For the past few weeks, we have been studying economics and trying to answer the compelling question:

How does economics impact the individual and society.

For this unit, we showed our learning by choosing a product or company and producing supporting questions. I chose iPhones. My supporting questions - with the key concepts highlighted - were:

  1. What role does innovation play in the product of iPhones?
  2. What are the global and/or local costs and benefits of iPhones?
  3. What are iPhones so much higher than competitor product prices.

I decided to create a website to show my learning because I wanted to be able to embed different media. A website also allowed me to present the information I found in easy-to-read sections.

Take 4 minutes to watch my presentation below.

All done? Visit my site here and then take complete the Quizizz on the 'Test Yourself' page to see what you have learned.

Remember to come back and let us know what you learned or post any questions you have!

Now that we've completed this activity, I've embedded your feedback below. To add to this and make expectations clear, I would remind you:
  • you do not need to include every economic term in your video, because the economic terms are already in your materials in a way that shows your understanding
  • speaking slowly and clearly is very important
  • notice the typo in the 3rd supporting question above - such errors easily be avoided by having a peer or family member check your work 
  • if citing, use MLA format and then add to your Sources / Works Cited / Bibliography section of your presentation

Was this helpful? Let us know in the comments.

Happy learning and put your best effort into your project - I'm sure they will be fascinating and we will learn a lot from each other!

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Keeping Brains Engaged - Part 3

Yesterday, I launched our ClassCraft game on Google Classroom. Never heard of ClassCraft? The video below will tell you more...

Now that students have been assigned their accounts via email, they can go ahead and decide what character they want to be - warriors, mages or healers. Each character type has different powers and limitations, but it's essential that all teams have at least one of each.

Choose and customise your character

Players can earn XP (experience points), HP (health points) and maybe even GP (gold pieces) depending on how they perform in their learning tasks. They will also be rewarded for helping their classmates, being organised and ready to learn and generally being a great member of our team.

The adventure begins...

Students can get started right away to earn some XP in setting themselves up. Watch Google Classroom for some bonus point-earning chances this week...

Sorry parents - this might take you back to your D&D days, but it's only for students!

Keep learning, stay safe and have fun everyone!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Keeping Brains Engaged - Part 2

So, hopefully everyone is enjoying their week of rest and choosing exactly how you spend your time. This was sent to my inbox recently, and I think it's a great reminder for all of us when the frustration starts to creep in.

What We Can Control
OK, on with ideas for keeping our brains engaged.

Did you try yesterday's Rube Goldberg machine? If so, let us know!

Today's ideas are all about connecting meaningfully online with others. Our family have scheduled video calls with friends and family for 4pm every day - after learning and before dinner. To ensure we have an enjoyable experience (because video calls can be a bit awkward, right?) we've researched of games we will play together. Check out the list below and consider giving it a go. You can invite classmates, family members, friends you haven't spoken to in a while...whoever you find yourself thinking about during these unusual times. (If no image is displayed below, click here to go to the Pinterest board.)

x x

Do you have more ideas to add? Drop me an email or leave a comment and we'll add it to our board.

Have fun and stay safe everyone!

Monday, 23 March 2020

Keeping Brains Engaged - Part 1

Well, what a week we've had. 4 days of continuous learning online and so far, so good. Sure, there have been some hiccups along the way, but for the most part our humanities lessons have been able to continue as normal. 'Normal' in this case means we continue to open our lessons with a focus on writing (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and reading (Tuesdays and Thursdays). We then managed to spend some time working on our economics projects which are due Tuesday after the break.

It's very significant we now have our scheduled week off school. For some, that means a well-deserved rest. However, we are also aware that for others it could mean a week of little meaningful brain engagement. This is new territory for us all - to continue growing even as we are confined to our home's walls. Therefore, in this series of posts, I'll share some ways you can keep your minds occupied both online and offline.

Make a Rube Goldstein Machine

Not sure what such a machine is? Check out the video to see one in action.

My 10-year-old didn't have the same materials as the video. This is what he created using books from our shelves, a set of dominoes, a paper cup and some other odds and ends. (It actually began on top of a bunk bed, but my camera lens wasn't wide enough to capture it all.)

As you can see, you can make these automated machines from anything around the house. Dig into the recycling pile and use whatever you can.

When you build your machine, think of the ISKL design cycle.

Expect to have more than 1 design and expect to fail up. By 'failing up', I mean you learn from your mistakes and use them to do even better next time.

Have fun giving this a try. If you decide to make one, do take pictures or a video so we can share it on our blogs.

Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Book Review: The Inquisitor's Tale

This is a guest post replicated from our library website. For more from Alina and Micha, see their blog links in the right-hand sidebar.

The Inquisitor's Tale

by Adam Gidwitz

Review by Alina L and Micha B, ISKL class of 2025
cover illustration by Hatem Aly
property of Dutton Books

The Inquisitor’s Tale is a fictional book full of great stories about three children and their holy dog. It is full of great writing and it makes you want to keep reading. It is not suggested for people who want an easy read because of the complexity in writing.

The story takes place in the 13th century, where monarchy ruled over. In the book, there were many moments that showed inequality, such as the king not being very supportive of Jews. In the story, the royals also considered the peasant’s dirt which was very wrong. In the book, we also shortly understand that the book is fiction/fantasy for we learn that the kids have magical powers, such as super-strength, healing, and visions which could be based on real events, such as a very good doctor, an extremely strong monk, and a girl who could predict the weather.

Inquisitor's Tale is a book based on some real events, such as the dog saint actually being a real saint, only it was a he and was called Guinefort, and the holy nail actually being lost in real life and found again.


Thanks Alina and Micha. Check out the 'book review' label in the right sidebar to access more student book reviews!

Monday, 10 February 2020

The International Trade Game

Today we launched our economics unit with a simulation called 'The International Trade Game'. Students were grouped into countries and asked to manufacture products (shapes) with the technology (tools), finance (money), natural resources (paper) and knowledge at their disposal. Little did they know that the countries had uneven resources and - just like in the real world - some had relatively little technology with lots of natural resources (Leah suggested this was like East Timor), while others had lots of technology and knowledge, but few natural resources (Yilin mentioned this was similar to Singapore). This lead to some initial confusion and cries of 'Not fair!' but they soon got on with trying to find ways to make the best of their situations.

Negotiations were heated - sometimes successful, sometimes not.

It was fascinating to see how students negotiated, bartered, traded and even stole from each other in order to come out with the most money. Some countries chose to work together for their mutual benefit, while others were ruthless in their exploitation of others. Just like in the real world, incidents affected the outcomes such as strikes (when equipment was removed from teams for a limited period of time), discovery of new resources (usually in the poorer countries) and sanctions (for when countries behaved in ways other countries did not approve).

Workers working, traders trading, and negotiators negotiating!

Sign in with your ISKL account to see more pictures and video footage from the activity here.

Once the time limit had elapsed, we came together for a debrief. During this discussion, we talked about how the simulation reflected the real world. To watch students' takeaways, see the video below.

If you're interested in hearing more from the students, check out their blogs on the right-hand side where you'll find their reflections on the activity.

Whatever you do, happy learning!

Friday, 31 January 2020

Debating the 'Dark' Ages

This week we explored a variety of online and offline sources to answer our inquiry question of whether the period of history covering approximately 500-1500AD should be considered the Dark Ages. To answer the questions, students delved into sources covering all continents.

Thanks to Mr Crandell, our librarian, students were able to apply the ABCD method for evaluating sources to ensure their information was as accurate as possible.

Click here to enlarge

Once they had completed their global research, they were allocated 'for' or 'against' to debate the question of whether the Dark Ages really was dark.

Students did a great job of defending their positions showing they can argue rationally, regardless of personal feelings. Rather than focus on opinions, they used researched and referenced sources to prove their points. Many interesting facts came from the collective research including that:

  • the Islamic Golden Age took place during this time leading to many discoveries that changed our world forever (Amaan)
  • the Plague killed thousands of people across Europe, Africa and Asia - a truly terrible time
  • China invented irrigation systems which improved farming (Micha)
  • Angkor Wat in Cambodia was abandoned by the people who lived there for mysterious reasons (Jaiswin)
  • The Mongols spread over much of China bringing bloodshed but also stability and unity (Maddie)
  • In South America, Mayan and Incan civilisations thrived (Sean)
  • In China, block printing was invented and books became available (Khadija)
This is just a selection of events that happened between 500-1500AD, so please do chat with the students to find out more and also learn what their final response to our inquiry question was. Of course, you can always click on their blogs to the right of this post to see their reflections and start a discussion through their comment sections.

Whatever you do, happy learning!

Economics Project - iPhone Example

Below is a sample project created for assessment purposes only. The intention is to look at the rubric to assess if it meets all the standa...