First, let me just say that I am a HUGE documentary fan. For me, there’s something so rich and compelling about things that really happened or people who believe that they may be really, truly onto something.
In the documentary I watched last night, “Dying to Have Known” by Steve Kroschel, the last few minutes of the film really moved me and I thought it was a good topic for Kidzmet’s blog.
Do you agree with the following excerpt? If so, what are you doing in your classroom (if you’re a teacher) or at home (if you’re a parent) to help make sure the next generation embodies and carries forward this mindset? How do we reinforce this thinking in an age where media is EVERYWHERE and is no longer something you can just “turn off”?
As Joel & Heidi Roberts put it in a seminar I attended this past weekend (much more eloquently than I’m about to) there are a cacophony of voices out there and it’s increasingly hard to be heard in a noisy world.
How do we drown out the voices in our kids’ lives (peers, magazines, videos, television, billboards, etc.) that are shouting the importance of currency instead of character? I expected to have to help my kids navigate the importance of what’s INSIDE versus what’s OUTSIDE in the tween/teen years. I didn’t expect to start dealing with Queen Bees and Wannabes in Kindergarten and first grade.
Here’s the excerpt. Hope it touches/resonates with you like it did with me:
“It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end. It won’t matter if you’re beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant. So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? What will matter will not be what you BOUGHT, but what you BUILT. Not what you GOT, but what you GAVE. What will matter is not your SUCCESS, but your SIGNIFICANCE. What will matter is not what you LEARNED, but what you TAUGHT. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example. What will matter is not your COMPETENCE, but your CHARACTER…A life lived that matters is not of CIRCUMSTANCE, but of CHOICE.”
~Dying to Have Known by Steve Kroschel (also available on NetFlix streaming)
The common core standards set forth the following criteria for math proficiency are grounded in 8 math “commandments” that include contextualizing, strategizing, modeling, precision, reasoning, structure, content proficiency and perseverance.
We feel these standards are missing a crucial first step… Going a step deeper into “why should I care about math? How will I use it in my life outside of school?”
Getting your child to WHY s/he should tune into the lesson is key to unlocking their interest in HOW to address the 8 “commandments” of the math common core standards.
Today, we explore this topic for the Interpersonally Intelligent Child. For kids who thrive on interacting with others, focusing on math homework when s/he could be hanging out with, talking to, or IMing with friends can be a tough sell. You can help them understand why math is important…even to “people people” with this party planning activity.
Please Note: This activity will likely take a few days or more. Be sure to pay attention to when your child starts to lose focus and take a break, then suggest you pick up the “party plan” at another time. (S/he may even come to you to keep planning!)
Sit down with your child to create their “ideal” party plan. Tell the child first that the sky’s the limit. Offer to pay for half of this particular party.
We’re off to the races with:
STEP 1 – Brainstorming
(Your role is to write down the elements of their perfect party. We’ve compiled these questions in this Party Brainstorm PDF to make life easier.)
- Where would s/he host the party?
- Would s/he have tables for the guests or chairs to sit on?
- What kinds of decorations would s/he have to give it the “feel” s/he wants the guests to have when s/he enter?
- Would s/he have entertainment? If so, who would provide it? If it’s just music, will you need special stereos/speakers/etc.?
- How long will the party last?
- Would there be food served at the party? What kinds?
- Based on the food choices, will plates be needed? How about napkins? How about utensils?
- How about drinks? Would there be any? If so, what kinds?
- Will the drinks need cups? How about pitchers?
- Who would be on the guest list?
STEP 2 – Research
Count how many people are on the guest list. You can use our Party Breakdown PDF spreadsheet or handwrite the answers and collect them in a party planning folder.
Have your child call the place (or look up the answer online) and find out
- how many people s/he will allow in the room
- how much it costs to rent it for the party
If the space is big enough for the number of guests your people smart child wants to invite, go to the next step. If it won’t accommodate the number of guests s/he’d like to invite, research a different space.
If s/he wanted to have chairs/tables for the guests, find out how much these will run each.
Research to find out how much each individual decoration will run to give the space the “look” s/he have in mind. Note the dimensions of all of the desired decorations.
If the child wanted to hire an entertainer or DJ, find out how much s/he costs per hour. If the child just wanted to have music on the stereo, do you have equipment you could use that would be loud enough for the whole event? Will you just be playing music from Slacker, Spotify or Pandora…or will you want to create an iTunes compilation. If iTunes is the response, then approximately how many songs will you need to “keep the beats popping” for the whole party? Does s/he have enough? If not, how many times will each song s/he’s got repeat? Is this acceptable or will s/he need to buy more music? If s/he need to buy more music, how many more songs will s/he need? What’s the approximate cost per song?
Go to the grocery store together and write down the costs of all of the food and drink items your child would like to serve at the party, as well as the cost of plates, napkins, bowls, utensils, pitchers, cups, etc. and the number of servings for each.
STEP 3 – Add it all up
Create a spreadsheet or draw 6 lines down a piece of lined paper to make seven columns (first column is the widest). Or return to our Party Breakdown PDF.
Make the header of the first column “ITEM”, second column “ITEM COST” third column “# of UNITS/SERVINGS”, fourth column “COST PER”, fifth column “# UNITS NEEDED”, sixth column “# ITEMS NEEDED”, seventh column “TOTAL COST”. (Or, just print out this handy worksheet.)
In the first column, write down all of the items you researched for their perfect party plan, the cost and the number of units/servings in each item.
If you want to find the cost per unit or serving, should the child add, subtract, multiply or divide? (answer = Divide)
Further, which number should be the numerator? How about the denominator?
Make each calculation
Decide on the number needed based on the number of guests. When looking at food, are there enough servings of food to accommodate all of the guests for the whole party? How about drinks?
Draw the size of the room on graph paper and diagram the decorations based on their sizes. Are there enough to give the party the “festive” feel your child wants? Will s/he need more? Note the decision in the # needed column for these items.
Now, figure the total cost of each line item. Does s/he add, subtract, multiply or divide to get the correct answers? Based on the number of units/servings in each item, how many total items will s/he need to serve the guests? Remind him/her that s/he will need to round each number up accordingly.
What’s the total cost of that line item for the party? How did s/he figure out that number?
Finally, total up all the party costs in the right hand column. (Does this mean adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing?)
STEP 4 – Concessions
If you’re paying for half of the party, how much will each of you be chipping in? How do you find this information? (Adding? Subtracting? Multiplying? Dividing? What fraction or percent is half?)
Once you’ve got the costs, how much money have s/he got saved up? How much more will s/he need to chip in their half? Given their weekly allowance, how many weeks will it take them to earn enough money to pay for the party? How many months? (or years?)
We’re betting that the ultimate cost of the “pie in the sky” party for most “people smart” kids will be astronomical…and that it will take them well into their teens or adulthood to earn enough money to pay for it, so it’s time to start making concessions.
How can s/he eliminate or minimize the party costs? Invite fewer guests? How does this impact each line item? Select cheaper food or drink? What would s/he give up? What would s/he add more of? Would s/he choose a different locale? How does this impact the final cost and number of decorations needed?
At this point, you may want to make a party “budget” recommendation to your child…based on what you’re both able or/willing to afford. Work backwards until you reach the budget you both agree upon. Or, take it a step further and figure out how s/he can make additional money to add to their contribution and do the math to find out how much s/he can make and how long it will take to reach the goal.
STEP 5 – Once the money’s been saved, decide on a date and invite your guests!
It’s time for both of you to celebrate! Not only will your interpersonally adept child get a chance to be surrounded by their closest friends in an environment that s/he’s designed and planned…you’ll have taught your child JUST HOW MUCH MATH is required in every day life—and in flexing his or her mind muscles in a way that celebrates & embraces his or her passion for people.
In our house, we’re working with my 1st grader on quickly reading letter blends instead of sounding them out. (E.g. ing, ack, ou, tion, kn, etc.) But, flashcards are boring–not just for HER but for ME.
Being that I am all about making learning FUN for kids as inexpensively as possible, I re-purposed an old board game that she’d recently become bored with–Candy Land–and made it into a reading “trick” game.
The result? My “people smart” daughter who has less of an interest in the reading-to-herself realm asked to play four times in 36 hours. It was a real treat for me to see her have so much fun learning…and to see it translate into much more fluid bedtime reading last night.
This game can easily be aged up based on your child’s grade/skill level. Try it with Latin roots to expand vocabulary or help with spelling… Try it with math skills based on their level… Or even with language verb conjugation, historical events or the periodic table.
(Want to just mix in questions with the traditional deck? Try our Candy Land printable template to insert the questions in an easy-to-use form, then print them on Avery Clean Edge business cards.)
Here’s how to do it:
1) make a BIG index card for each color with the key skill being practiced (we used the letter blend). Cut index cards in half for 6 examples of use. In the picture, we were practicing the ACK blend, so I made small index cards that used the letters BL, SN, SH, CR, R, P.
2) Use a matching symbol on the opposite side of the card so you know which little cards go with which big cards. We used hearts, diamonds and stars of each color, which gave us 18 blends to start.
3) Have your child pick one symbol “set” of each color.
4) Play Candy Land as you would normally with the CL deck, but…
(a) when you pick a SINGLE color, you have to get the right answer to make the move.
In our case, my daughter had to make the correct sound. If using it with a Latin root, the child would have to know that “rupt” means “break”; if using it as a Chemistry game, they would have to know that H=hydrogren; if using for Spanish practice, the child would have to know that “jugar” means “to play”.
(b) If you get a DOUBLE color, you have to get the blend correct to move forward.
In our case, my daughter had to know that “TH” and “ING” together made the word “THING”. Using the same examples as above – if the child got a double color, the question might be what does “INTER” “RUPT” mean? If using with Chemistry, what’s something that H and O make together? If using for Spanish practice, how would you conjugate “jugar” for “we”?
5) As with traditional Candy Land, whoever gets to the end first wins.
ALTERNATE VERSION: If you’ve got several kids and want to make it a learning game for the whole family, assign each child a different symbol with different skills they’re working to learn. If your 1st grader selects a red, the question will be different than your 6th grader.
It’s time for your next mission meet-up!
Talk to each other about what your experience was with your responsibilities from Part 4. Did everyone do what they said they were going to do? Did some people do more than they had planned?
Analyze your results by writing down these 3 numbers for each of the different techniques you and your fellow advocates tried:
- How many people were you able to connect with about your mission?
- How many of those people could understand why it’s important to you…and should be to them.
- Use a calculator to divide the number of people you were able to inspire by the number of people you were able to connect with.
Talk about which techniques were most effective in terms of:
- Reach (how many people you were able to connect with using that technique)
- Conversion rate (what percentage of people you were able to get excited about your mission using that technique)
- Evangelist rate (the number of new “advocates” you were able to get to join your meeting as a result of using that technique)
What techniques to “get the word out” do you want to try this time around? Will you use the same ones? Do you want to try new ones? Has your mission changed course as a result of your efforts? Has your focus narrowed or broadened?
Before you go home, be sure to set a date and time for your next small group meeting.
Return to Part 1 with your growing group of advocates and spread the word about what’s important to you to even more people.
You are helping to change the world for the better in ways that are important to you. You should be extremely proud of yourself.
Attend a trade show or conference with some of your fellow advocates and/or a parent that is in alignment with your mission.
(Maybe one of your new email pen pals will also be attending and you can meet!)
Walk the exhibit floor and see what other people are doing that you could work into your plans.
Talk to the people at the booths that are interesting to you and tell them about what you are doing. Get their feedback on other things you might want to try to get the word out or how your two groups could work together to accomplish your goals.