Friday, September 30, 2011

Hands-On Minds-On Math! -- Blog #40

Today in my locally developed math class (grade 9 and 10) we had our first monthly auction and it was AWESOME!

Our entire course is based on the life skill of money. Every day the students both earn and spend money, keep tabs of their money and journal about it. Counting money, calculating change and estimating costs have been three skills we have honed this month. We have our own little micro-economy going on!

At the end of each month we have an auction. Most of my items are donated by my twitter follower and for this I sincerely thank a wonderful PLN community.

The money we use is fake but looks like actual Canadian currency and coins. I felt that using monopoly money would not have had the same impact on the learner’s experience. Students earn money by getting to class on time, helping each other, remembering to put up their hands, and during math games we play on the smart board. They also lose money if they are late, misbehave, etc.

Today I had 5 Xbox games sell for prices between $42.00 - $350.00. A student spent $262.00 on a cup of noodles! Students were especially interested in buying items they could give to their mothers or items that would help with their learning, ie. Packages of pencils, ruler with calculator built in, loose leaf!

Even my silent ESL students who I didn’t even know could talk were swept up in the bidding! The Pinoy twins who I thought were mutes got so caught up in the action they started to YELL! The “bad boy” who is on the brink of expulsion spent all of his money on a set of candles to take home to his mom!

One million thanks to our amazing Educational Assistant who makes my life, and that of our students, easier in this class!

Next month I am going to have a videographer in my room to record our auction! Even describing it while I write this blog makes my heart beat faster! This is one of the richest, most authentic learning tasks I have ever shared with my students. I was doubled over with laughter during some of the bidding, it was so intense. I am filled with love and pride at the accomplishments of this class. Just four weeks ago we were working on “How many nickels in a dime!”

If you have any items you wish to donate to future auctions I am happy to receive them.

1 comment:

  1. These are the life lessons that I wish were taught more in schools. Learning about money is a life long journey and you really can't start too young. The auction is a very creative way to make learning fun.

    I remember (and will never forget) my OAC finite math class. If you got your assigned work completed in class, with the remaining time you were allowed to play euchre. There was a group of 4 of us that would race to get our work done to get a few hands in. I know now looking back that we probably spent more time talking about the probability of having the next right bower or getting dealt no face/no ace/no trump than actually playing.

    Glad they enjoyed my xbox games :-)