Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Grade 12 - Tuesday Sub-plans

In-class work
  1. Luti would like to do the ch. 28 assessment (it's on the desk)
  2. Use the class in the way that is most effective for your time. Keep the opportunity cost of your decisions in mind when utilizing your time effectively.
  3. I know many of you have the English mock tomorrow and we have the economics mock on Thursday.
  4. I would spend this entire period reviewing/revising for one of these two exams.
For sub
  • These students know how to use their time effectively in order to be prepared for their assessments tomorrow and the next day. 
  • These are major exams for them and they should be reviewing intensely for them as they count for a significant part of their semester grades and help predict how they will do on their real external assessments in a few weeks that count for 80% of their grade for this entire two-year course.
  • They can work very independently, but it is fine to remind them that they should be using class time for class work if socializing becomes clearly off topic and irrelevant to our subject (economics or possibly English).

Grade 11 - Monday/Wednesday Sub-Plans

In-class work

  1. Read through chapter 14 on inflation,
  2. review any videos necessary,
  3. collect definitions/diagrams for future revision,
  4. and find news article examples to apply this information to.
For sub
  • These students know how to use their time effectively in order to be prepared for their assessments.
  • They can work very independently, but it is fine to remind them that they should be using class time for class work if socializing becomes clearly off topic and irrelevant to our subject (economics).

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Two Consequences of "Winner Take All" Societies

Tim Harford — Article — The lost leisure time of our lives
"The economic elites, meanwhile, continue to embody a paradox: all the income gains that Keynes expected and more, but limited leisure. 
The likely reason for that is that, in many careers, it’s hard to break through to the top echelons without putting in long hours. It is not easy to make it to the C-suite on a 20-hour week, no matter how talented one is. And because the income distribution is highly skewed, the stakes are high: working 70 hours a week like it’s 1830 all over again may put you on track for a six-figure bonus, while working 35 hours a week may put you on track for the scrapheap. 
The consequences of all this can emerge in unexpected places. As a recent research paper by economists Lena Edlund, Cecilia Machado and Maria Micaela Sviatschi points out, urban centres in the US were undesirable places to live in the late 1970s and early 1980s. People paid a premium to live in the suburbs and commuted in to the city centres to work. The situation is now reversed. Why? The answer, suggest Edlund and her colleagues, is that affluent people don’t have time to commute any more. They’ll pay more for cramped city-centre apartments if by doing so they can save time."
The above (long) quote is yet another piece of evidence in regards to the direction the world seems to be headed. That is a direction that rewards people at the very edge of their fields in ever smaller numbers, while the rest are automated, outsourced, or otherwise paid very minimal wages due to replaceability.

I see this as having two immediate consequences that all (young) people should be aware of.

First, recognizing that innovation and knowledge creation are likely to continue to garner the highest rewards makes understanding creativity, mastery, and expertise that much more important. If you can't get to the edge of the field through massive time and energy investments in gaining expertise, you will probably be one of the people automated, outsourced, or paid minimally. This is important to know. Choose appropriately how you spend your time and energy.

Second, deciding on what kind of society we should have becomes vastly more critical. If the majority of financial rewards will go to a smaller and smaller percentage of working people, while the majority of working people continue to earn relatively less over time, then creating societal norms around giving back and taking care of the less privileged becomes even more important.

It's a statistical fact that not everyone will be in the one percent regarding intelligence, physical prowess, creativity, or ability to persist on difficult work for decades at a time. For people not born with these outlier abilities through no fault of their own, it seems only right to care for them as a society. After all, it is society that allows the outliers to prosper in the first place, therefore, society should be entitled to many of those rewards.

This makes education aimed at caring, compassion, and inclusivity that results in citizens willing to engage and vote in elections to the benefit of all one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

“How to” succeed on IB Economics higher level paper 3 | Economics in Plain English

“How to” succeed on IB Economics higher level paper 3 | Economics in Plain English

The link above takes you to Jason Welker's website that details a post on exactly what you can expect from a paper 3 exam in May. It's quite long. It's quite numerical. But at this point in time, you should be expecting that.

Paper 3 has the highest average score around the world, but involves calculations from across the entire two year  course and all sections of the syllabus. Therefore, it doesn't allow you to focus on just micro or just development.

This might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but you should recognize that many of the formulas are recycled with different names for different situations. For example, line equations are used multiple times and percentage change equations are used multiple times.

The more energy you spend working through the exercises in the book and reviewing the above link now, the easier the exam will be. This is definitely a test where practice and exposure is almost certainly your best bet. Do all the work, ask questions if you get stuck, and you should be as prepared as you possibly can be.

I would also personally take the time to write out all the formulas from across the text so that you can organize them mentally in the way that best works for you. This could be a Google Doc, flashcards, or even taking a list you find from the internet from the many examples that already exist. The point is to keep it handy over the next month, look at it a lot, and do your best to memorize them so you don't have to rely on filling in too many gaps on test day. It simply speeds up your problem solving if the formulas are already automatic and lets you spend time where it counts the most.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Grade 12 Reminders

  1. Last day to submit the IA portfolio is March 21st
  2. Paper 3 HL exam on March 24th
  3. Mock exams are the March 31st
    1. This means finishing chapter 29 for SL students
    2. All chapters, including 7-10 should be complete for HL students
To do
  1. Open a new blog post.
  2. Answer the following questions:
    1. Do you understand what your current IB grade is?
    2. What do you currently feel least prepared to perform well on in the coming exams?
    3. Do you understand what sections of the course your lowest marks have come from over the past year and a half?
  3. Write up a schedule for the next four weeks until the mocks.
    1. Include dates for any remaining chapter assessments and the IA.
    2. Include how you will improve in your weakest areas from number 2 above.