I had this great lesson today. We went outside and measured out ten meters on the asphalt and then found the points where the crust would be, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. First, we had to work out the percentage for each and then convert that percentage over to our 10m model. The math was challenging, they were engaged and it was great to work with sidewalk chalk!
Afterwards, we climbed to the roof and took a birds eye view of our handy work. It was beautiful.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="One of those days...."][/caption]
Unfortunately, none of it is true. It was what I had imagined in my head would happen. Here is what really happened.
About 20 minutes prior to Japanese class finishing, a big black cloud arrived over the school. I knew that the outside sidewalk chalk would not be a good idea. I thought about doing it in the hallway, but the grade 3.4 class had done something similar earlier in the year, and I decided to do something different. We recently just got our hands on a set of iPads, so I thought, lets try that. Instead of comparing to the measuring tape, we would compare the layers of the earth to our own bodies, and find out where the crust would be, the mantle end, and so on. Then, we could take a picture with the iPad, and draw the layers right on top of the picture!
Scrambling, I got the iPads signed out, tried to download the necessary app (but the layers of security on them slowed me down), and then got my Keynote page ready to reflect the new changes. Just as they came in, I got it done. We started on time.
Well, the math part of the problem didn't really cause any problems. They got the idea, needed some help from each other walking through the conversations from Earth to Me, I had to step in a couple of time and correct some errors that had gotten out of control and spread through the group (when measuring the layers on your body, make sure to start each layer from where the last one left off), but for the most part, they did well. It would have been easier with the ten meter tape, since dividing into ten is a lot easier than dividing into 154cm. But, they have calculators for that!
Then, the iPads struck. We took the pictures, loaded them into app, drew our pictures on top of them, and then nothing worked. It was hard to write on the pictures, the calibration was off. I couldn't email them. I couldn't save them. I couldn't export them. Several of them got deleted, and redone, and then deleted again. A couple more got flipped around so that the picture we drew was at a different orientation to the picture we took! It took us over 45 minutes to do the part of the lesson that should have been the quickest. The kids did their best to stick with it and try and solve all the problems that came up, but they just got the iPads yesterday, so they don't know much. It was frustrating for all of us. In the end, we got it to work, but it was bittersweet. We were tired and we wanted to go home. We knew it was not our best.
The problems rest completely at my feet. I took a risk. I tried something that I thought would be fun, interesting and different. It would have been, had I been more prepared. I rushed it together and the results showed. I sat the kids down before the day ended and apologized that today was not a smooth day, and that everything seemed to go wrong. I told them it was my fault because I was not prepared.
They told me not to worry
They told me that sometimes things don't go the way you plan
They told me that sometimes you have to go with the flow
They told me that you learn more from mistakes than success
They said that it was fun trying to figure it out together
They said we will do better next time