The girls and I did some doodling last week inspired by a post I read over at Semicolon. Sherry found the idea and a tutorial on Julie’s Blog.
I am hoping we can do some drawing each week and this looked like an enjoyable activity to start with. It was very relaxing just sitting with the girls and doodling. We all doodle but it doesn’t usually end up in a form we want to keep, so it was fun to create a design with some structure but not so much that the freedom of doodling was lost. We didn’t finish them in the lesson time but kept them out on the table and sat down and added to them when we had a spare moment.
Here is what we came up with:
We wrapped up our Stock Market unit at Group of Four this week with a simulation game. We (the mums) invented five companies, some blue chip, some up and coming. We had a bank, an airline, a power company, a spa and a department store with creative little names like “Trusty Trusty Safe Bank” and “StuffMart”. Ahead of time we had decided on ten days of closing prices on the Group of Four Stock Exchange (GOFSX) and then graphed the first four days. Each child was given $300 and the charts necessary to keep track of their stock portfolio.
We opened for trading at the day 4 prices and the children chose what they would like to buy based on what they could see on the graph and their own opinion of the companies. No-one spent all their money and all but one bought from several different companies. At the end of each day’s trading (we had six days) we helped everyone update their portfolio sheets making sure that they knew how much their stocks were currently worth. The graph was updated before the new day’s trading began and when the market opened the children noted down the new prices and began trading.
The prices had been determined by us ahead of time so did not reflect the buying and selling that was going on amongst the group, but we had tried to make the path of each stock realistic for the type of stock it was. The power company stayed very steady, the spa rose dramatically and then crashed, finally going bankrupt on the last day. On the fourth day of trading there was a news flash explaining that there had been some terrorist attacks in the US. That day all the stock prices dropped, some more dramatically than others.
At the end of trading everyone tallied up the worth of their stock and cash in hand. The profits ranged from $10 to $130, no-one ended up with less than they started. Everyone discussed the strategies they had used, the mistakes and the successful choices they had made.
The unit went very well overall. Although it was a topic very few of them knew anything about, we incorporated enough games to keep everyone interested and to simulate the real thing. One of the most valuable parts of each lesson was the discussion time as the children tried to come to grips with the concepts of stewardship and investment.
That was the topic in our history class this week. We were privileged to have a guest speaker, a friend of mine who really knows his stuff. When I asked him if he would teach for us on this topic we both realised what a huge topic it was. He chose what he would cover, concentrating on three very different operations. We began in Hong Kong, learning military terms as we went. Ortona, Italy was the next “theatre” we visited and finally we looked at the clearing of the Scheldt. All three operations were very different, so as we listened to our guest speaker, viewed the pictures he had gathered and asked questions we got a taste of the involvement Canadian forces had in WW2.
All that we learnt was interesting but we enjoyed it most when our speaker strayed from his notes to explain in detail how a regiment would move into position, and how various battles proceeded depending on the terrain, the numbers of troops and the type of artillery being used. We learnt about the “house to house” and “hand to hand’ combat in Ortona, the feats of engineering necessary for success in the canal filled Scheldt pocket and the last ditch efforts of the infantry in Hong Kong.
We could have spent several weeks on WW2 and will certainly keep reading about it over the next few weeks. Both L14 and B8 have chosed WW2 topics for their History Fair projects this year so they are narrowing in on different aspects of Canada’s involvement.
I did not realise at the time of our class but last week was a very significant week for our guest, LCol Bernard Ciarroni OMM, CD. He taught us on Wednesday rather than our regular Friday afternoon history time slot because on Friday he was at Rideau Hall being presented with the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General!