5th graders have been working on a Problem-Based Learning activity. Their task was to determine if it is cost effective to switch to using 13 watt CFL bulbs rather than traditional 60 watt incandescent bulbs. The task requires them to understand how to determine the amount of energy each bulb uses per kilowatt hour and the cost of the energy over the course of a month and beyond. In order to make a judgement about whether replacing bulbs is cost effective, they must also consider how much the bulbs cost and how long they will last. Operations required for this task are multiplication and division of whole numbers and decimals.
For many students, this project has been very challenging. We are learning that problem-solving skills, such as asking targeted questions and developing a plan, are areas we should continue to work on throughout the year. I'm sure your child would love to apply their new skills by doing a energy cost analysis of an appliance at home. :)
*Ms. Holden and Ms. Gaines will give students an appropriate amount of time to ask questions and receive teacher support when needed. If a student is still struggling with an assignment when it is due, they should include a note with their assignment explaining what they are having trouble with. Please allow your child to write this note. Asking for help can be difficult for gifted and high ability students but it is an important part of building resiliency. We want students to feel comfortable saying, "I am having trouble understanding..." or "I need help with..." and that may take time and practice.