Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The First Leaders Club

What is a "good" leader?

We talk to fourth graders about being leaders all of the time. As the oldest members of our community the expectations for their behavior and scholarship are high.  But what is a "good" leader?  What qualities do they exhibit?  What actions do they take? To think about this question we take two first leaders, Qin Shi Huang Di, the first emperor of China who united that empire, and George Washington, our first president.  Both of these men left lasting legacies, but of what sort?  We did our research, looked the facts, formed our opinions, and had a debate.

Not everyone got to debate something they believed, but a few argued very convincingly for their side and changed their own minds!

In the end, qualities and actions like fairness, thoughtfulness,  empathy, and communication, along with the ability to make tough decisions and do the right thing even when it isn't popular were greatly admired.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Exploring Area with Tangram Animals

Tangrams are an ancient Chinese puzzle and therefore a no brainer for math integration in our classroom. After exploring various animal shapes we were ready to tackle an exemplar. What is the area of a Tangram animal? Well it depends on which Tangram equals 1.  We made some choices and took notice of the results.