For many of our readers, it’s almost holiday break! Parents, students, and teachers alike are counting down the days until vacation. However, how can you make the most of the time you have left?
PenPal Schools offers several project based learning ideas that will engage your students as they learn with their peers from around the world. One popular PBL unit this month is Holidays & Festivals of the World, where students from over 150 different countries are sharing and learning about different cultures and traditions. Or, explore A World of Food and give your students the opportunity to learn about traditional foods around the world and share their favorite holiday dishes. Also popular topic this month is Weather & Meteorology, where students can talk about the weather changes they are experiencing this holiday season and compare them to students around the world. Students experiencing winter in the colder northern hemisphere love to compare climates with students experiencing summer in the southern hemisphere!
Today’s PenPal Star recently participated in Multiplication & Division. Math projects are a fun way to challenge students to apply the skills they learn in class. As they learn with PenPals, students have the option to choose to cook with math, design a savings plan, plan a trip, explore math careers, or design their own project.
PenPal Star Eve from Georgia, USA used her knowledge of multiplication to create a savings account. Check out her awesome work in this project based learning example:
Make a Savings Account
I am saving up to buy a $150 5 by 3 ft. chocolate bar. I get $5 every week as an allowance. I already have $50 in my account. How many weeks does it take for me to earn the rest of the money I need to buy the candy bar? If there are 3 weeks that I don’t get any money, how many weeks will it take me now?
Answer a: 20 weeks
Answer b: 23 weeks
It’s critical to reinforce financial literacy at every age, because ⅔ of adults in the United States cannot pass a basic financial literacy test. Additionally, 38% of adults have credit card debt. Math projects like Multiplication & Division challenge students to build financial literacy and prepare for a stable future. This project is also relevant to students’ lives right now because many students are hoping to save and buy gifts for the holidays.
“At Brookstone School, we have seen PenPal Schools enrich our curriculum by giving our students authentic global connections with other students around the world. These connections definitely develop empathy and awareness that a textbook cannot accomplish. Students are interested and engaged as they produce quality work in these project-based learning opportunities.”
Eve was surprised to be featured as a PenPal Star, but she’s being recognized because her work is a great example to students around the world! She not only does a great job writing a strong word problem, but is able to apply her knowledge of multiplication to find out how long she will have to work to save for the chocolate bar. This example even analyzes how her savings plan will impact the time that it will take her to reach her goal. Since she published her project for a global audience, she will also help students from over 150 different countries understand the importance of creating a savings account and planning to meet savings goals.
We reached out to Eve to learn more about her experience with PenPal Schools and her life in Georgia, USA:
PENPAL SCHOOLS: What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
Eve: I like that you have to comment on other peoples answers cause it gives you an idea on how they think and may show you something that you didn't think about.
What is the most interesting thing you learned from your PenPals?
Eve: I learned how to write a good mathematical question and how to make a savings account.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
Eve: You need to work hard and be your best. Working hard on doing what you're supposed to be doing is what factors being a great PenPal.
What is your favorite subject in school and why?
Eve: My favorite subject in school is math because to me it is really fun to work out math problems. I also like French because it is fun to learn.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Eve: I would want to travel to Paris because I like taking French.
What do you like to do after school or for fun? Are you in any clubs or activities?
Eve: I like to draw for fun. I am in reading bowl and volleyball.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
Eve: I think it is important because people from around the world can open our eyes to something you didn't think about.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
Eve: I learned that you have to work hard and plan ahead.
Congratulations, Eve! Thank you for working so hard and being a great PenPal Star. We hope you’re having a great end of the year!
Want more project based learning ideas that are great to use before a holiday? Check out these PBL examples:
PBL Example: Celebrate the Holidays with this PenPal Star from Ukraine
Students of the World Share Delicious Recipes
PBL Example: Student from USA learns about financial literacy and money management
10 Project Based Learning Ideas from 2018