“Work systems that work” in grade 4

As part of our Unit of Inquiry “Work Systems That Work”, all about the world of work, the students have each spent a day at their parent’s place of employment finding out how their jobs are connected to other people. They have interviewed their parent’s work colleagues to discover how people work together in teams. As a grade, we have also been watching “Junior Apprentice” and talking about how teams organize themselves to carry out a task. The main idea of this unit has been to give the students ownership of a project so that they feel they have been part of the development process from the beginning to the end.

The students have used a charity bake sale for their initial task and chose to support the cancer charity “Relay Recess” which will be taking place in Elementary school on the 13th May. The students took on various roles: – project managers, advertising, market researchers, pricing, and so on. The students themselves have been in charge of the project from the start, coming up with ideas, deciding on the best way to sell, and getting organized to put it all into practice with the bake sale this week.

The three grade 4 classes had a mini-competition on bake sale day to see which team could make the most profit, and will now come together to analyze and discuss the results:- “Why did we make the most profit, what strategies did we come up with that made us more successful, what things could we change?” etc.

From the experience of the bake sale project, the final stage of the Unit of Inquiry will be for the students to divide up into mixed teams from the different classes and, using what they have learned from the first project,  come up with their own new fundraising idea to present to the business class in High School. The HS students will then assess and choose one of the team’s projects as the grade 4 final fundraiser for the run up to Relay Recess. At the end of this final project the 4th Grade will come together and hope to have raised as much money as possible for their chosen charity.

They have made a tremendous start already by raising over €1600 from the bake sale, with generous contributions from parents and teachers.

The grade 4 teachers