From Trading to Selling – A Continued Look at Perspective






Our last blog post shared about our trading game, and the affect this trading game had on our lives.

The students shared different perspectives on this  – some said the game affected their lives a lot, they were sad about their trade and thought about it late into the evening and even the next day, others said that it affected them a little, they didn’t think much about it, after the trade.

This concept of perspective has continued throughout this Unit of How We Organize Ourselves.

The students are now organizing what goods or service they would like to offer at our Grade 3 Buddies Carnival, and considering the perspectives of their customers.

What would their buddies like to do or buy? What service can we provide that would be fun for our buddies?

What would our buddies consider to be a good prize or a good product/good?

Would kindergarteners like comics? Would they like this comic? Would 3rd graders like this comic?

What would they consider is a fair price? What is too expensive? What is too cheap?

What type of advertising would be most persuasive?

The students are continuing to consider the concept of perspective as they near the opening of their Grade 3 Buddies Carnival on May 3rd.

Please enjoy some of our planning and preparation photos in this Flickr Album – Organizing and Preparing for our Buddies Carnival.





Perspectives on Trading






Our current Unit of Inquiry is underneath the transdisciplinary theme of How We Organize Ourselves. We are exploring a variety of related concepts including currency, exchange, and supply and demand. We also are looking at the broader concepts of function, perspective, and change.

With a focus on our central idea of “How The Exchange of Goods and Services Affects People’s Lives, the students reflected upon our recent trading provocation.

Some were disappointed with their trade, others were easily contented. Many felt that the trading experience affected their lives in some way – for better or for worse. We also learned that “wanted items” were very different for each person, depending on the person’s needs or wants. Our perspectives on the items were not the same.

“I learned that when you like someone else’s thing, they might not trade with you because they don’t like your toy.

“I figured it out, that if it is a toy that I don’t like, someone else maybe won’t like it either, just like me.”

“I chose a toy that I don’t like, but I’m sure that the boys would really like it.”

Our inquiry into perspective, function and change continues.








Design Thinking: From Planning to Creation to Reflection to Improvement

The KS and 3B learning buddies have been concentrating on being design thinkers throughout this year. Design thinkers plan, create, reflect, and improve. The improvement may occur during the design cycle, or it might occur after the cycle, when a new design might be inspired or planned. The learning is continuous. Currently the students are at different stages in their design thinking, with designs ranging from books to pop-up cards, bird houses to pencil holders. We hope you enjoy this link to the Design Thinking with KS and 3B Flickr album, where you can view a few photos from our learning or toggle your own slideshow if desired.

Caring YIS

In the last month the students have extended their kindness and help in so many ways, learning as they try new experiences with younger students as well as extending to the outside community – reading with their KS buddies, playing games with their service learning America-yama Garden buddies, adding cheer to the Van der Poel Christmas Party for two orphanages with their Christmas cards and Gingerbread houses (which also went to a home for the elderly and the Kunmoin School for the Blind),  supporting the 5th grade service learning initiatives of Fresh Fruit Friday and the Giving Tree for the homeless and the seafarers.

A few of the 3B students wanted to have a blog post that shared some of their photos of their gingerbread houses as well as their Christmas cards and to share some feelings about all of these service learning projects. You can see more gingerbread house photos on last week’s 3N blogA big thank you goes out to the class moms for their help in organizing and preparing the items for the gingerbread houses.

I was happy to help the orphans and give them the gingerbread house – Lara

I enjoyed playing with the Japanese kindergarten, the card game. I enjoyed it because they learned English about those things. – Carolina

It was fun because we’re making the cards for orphans. – Paula

I like having Maker Space with my KS buddy. – William

I liked making the gingerbread houses because its important to give things to people so that they don’t get more poor. – Thanina

I liked drawing the Christmas card because it is important to make other people happy. – Jingyi

I like making Christmas cards because I like helping people. – Seonyul

I like making the gingerbread house because I want to help the blind people. – Lindsey

I like helping all of the people we help. – Valmik

Gingerbread Houses and Cards for Others

Inviting a Response – John Cage’s Composition: 4′ 33″

Our How We Express Ourselves Unit has taken off with great fervour.  This unit spreads across all our subject areas with the inquiries being looked at in the homeroom, Art, Music, Drama, and PE with the central idea of : Creativity is a key element of performance that engages an audience and invites a response.

The Unit has started out with particular attention to how a performance invites a response. The students preconceived ideas and expectations of performance was particularly challenged in their Music class as they viewed John Cage’s 1952 composition entitled 4’33”.

Below are a few responses from Grade 3 students.

Enjoy these few comments, as well as the composition itself. We wonder what kind of response you would make after seeing 4’33”, for “Everything we do is music.” -John Cage

Strong responses directly after the viewing:

“I was thinking when is he going to start?” Carolina, 3B

“I was thinking what he was doing because I think it was not music” Lara, 3B

“I was feeling curious” Jingye, 3B

“It is boring – waste of money” Will 3B

“What if he’s timing 4’33’’?” George 3M

“I was thinking what was he doing on earth?” Thanina 3B

Student responses after reflection, and the students discovering that the sounds that the audience made while watching the piece, was the music!

“I was thinking John Cage’s idea was smart” Chanseo, 3N

“I thought it was interesting because he was timing 4 minutes and 33 seconds and that’s the name” Ali, 3N

“I was engaged because I did not know what he was going to do next” Vivian 3M

“Music is something that brings peace” Yellana 3M