For the last week or so I have been letting the class have about 30 minutes of free choice at math tubs each morning. As one of the kids put it, "Ms. Hughes, this is just like Choosing time only with Math!" Yep, pretty much!
A group of students took a bunch of different math tubs and combined the contents to create the Appleberry Mining Co. For a few days, they were building and dismantling each time we had math. A huge undertaking believe you me! Then last week, I let them leave it and they have been adding to it since.
It has offices, a cafeteria, a smelter, a museum, bathrooms, a computer lab and its very own cave! There is also a railroad (run by a different student) to carry the ore to the mining company. I have no idea who came up with the idea but it has been super cool watching them all work together to create and run the mining company.
Especially interesting was how two of the head mining honchos dealt with the number of students who wanted to play last week. It started to get a little crazy with so many kids wanting to be in the same small space so, what did they do? Well, they laid people off, of course!!!! The laid off employees were sent off to find new work (i.e. play with a different math tub). Then, when one student was sad to be laid off, they promptly told him that the company was rehiring! (Oh, if only life was really like that, huh?)
Anywho, I took a video of the mining company and had them talk me through the space. So, take a minute and check it out. The minds of grade 1 and 2 students never cease to amaze me!
p.s. Sorry about the picture quality. I was trying to zoom in and out without getting any faces on the video. It got blurry in a couple place. My bad!