GEMS 6th Grade Class Takes on Red Paper Clip Challenge

Target 1. Student-Centered Learning. FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step: Highlight, create and model innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creativity for students and staff.

Indicator of Success: Students and staff will participate in a global dialogue to engage in authentic investigation and problem solving with partners located outside of their school community.

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How far can bartering take someone?  A sixth grade teacher at GEMS, Matt Toof, replicated a project called “One Red Paperclip.”

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The following is from Matt’s blog:

“We just finished our first day of school and already need help. We are trying to determine the value of “One Red Paperclip.”  Sounds weird, right?  Well, back in 2005 Canadian blogger, Kyle McDonald, traded a paperclip for a pen.  The pen was then traded for a hand sculpted doorknob.  With the doorknob he continued to make a series of trades that eventually landed him a house.  That’s right, I said a house!  Now, we are not looking for a house. Surely, no sane individual would ever want to live in a house with sixty something 6th graders!  However, we’d like to see how far we can go with one red paperclip.  This is where you come in. What is our one red paperclip worth to you? Make us a reasonable offer. Our hope is to bring the offers back to the sixth graders. In turn, they’ll decide which item to swap for the next deal. We’ll continue to make a series of barters until they get something special enough to donate to the school or community.”

The following are the deals that have been made to date:

One Red Paperclip for local maple syrup and jelly

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Local maple syrup and jelly for a new soccer ball, used cleats and socks

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New soccer ball, used cleats and socks for…

(pending – we are still taking offers)

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  We will try to keep you posted to let you know what that One Red Paperclip turns into at the end of the project.

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