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Made in China

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Made in China

   I read recently some articles where it is questioned the quality of products manufactured in China.
This country has developed rapidly, as in his time did Taiwan and Korea, thanks to Western countries looking for cheap labor to their final products.
   And it is that the developed countries in their quest to reduce the costs of their final products have turned their eyes to countries with cheap labor in weak or controlled economies.
  It seems unfair, I completely disagree that generalize, that being a "Made in China" must be bad, defective or of poor quality.
 While it is true that there are many copies of poor quality and poor quality products without any control, it is also true that almost dare say that 95% of global final production comes from China.

 Absolutely 95% of the world-known brands (American and  European) have their factories and labor in China. And those who do not directly have manufactured most of its components manufactured there for instance: fasteners, wire, leather, all kind of motors, textiles, electronics, components, furniture, cosmetics, shoes, toys only to name some of them.

  The problem with the factories in China is quality control.
  But each of these companies and brands that manufacture their products there (most of them) has its own quality control requirements.

  The difference then is not that is made in China, the difference is in the quality of the materials used and quality control of the final product.

  It is not the same to buy on ebay or alibaba to a complete stranger, with the ocean in between, that buy a brand that has invested time and money in quality control and assurance of their products.
  And it is that even the products which claim to be manufactured domestically are using one or two or many components made in China and the only national is to put the pieces together
  So it seems absurd to continue saying what comes from China, is bad.

  Occident industry has taught them to work with their requirements and standards. Educating and training, they developed and improved their skills in the last 15 years impressively.
  What if I seem rude is that industries get profit because they proclaim the fact of being European or American with the  intend to raise prices on the very products up to 10 times its actual cost, but that's another story, right?

   On the contrary I think that the industry China has become an option for the market and global competition. Providing access to a more affordable option for underprivileged markets.

   In the past for example, a wood furniture carved by hand by European craftsmen, it was only accessible to industries with high purchasing power, but now thanks to globalization, diversification and "copy" are available finely finished furniture with materials less quality, equally beautiful but much more accessible to all budgets.

   The mentality has changed and the market also no longer seeking products for lasting "the whole life" now we look for cheaper even changing cost for less durability.

   In much I compare generic drugs in the healthcare industry.
   Large laboratories develop studies and trials, launched the product to market, calculating costs, production, marketing. And get the product to market with a beneficial price for their job.
  Then the generic develops the same product, same components but without the costs of large laboratories and brands then the product is cheaper than the original.
  Same thing happens with all other industries, including technology.

  Thus, I  recommend , before buying any product, take into consideration not only where it is produced but also what kind of guarantee they will get and who is going to "guarantee"    

The Beauty Adviser
Blason International.-

Our Sky Inquiry

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I have found that most of the interests that the kids show me that lead to inquiries have something to do with the world around them. I have wanted so much to do an inquiry on the ocean or rainforest but they rarely get as excited about those as they do what is going on in our room or in the world outside our window!  Ohio's science standards include inquiring about the sky, specifically the sun, moon, and stars.  To see if I could hook them into this inquiry, I took them outside and we each found a quiet spot to "look closer" at the sky.

We gathered together and discussed what we saw, thought and wondered about the sky.

They wanted to record what they noticed about the sky so we grabbed our clipboards, paper and tool bags and made observational drawings of the sky. They also wrote what they saw, thought or wondered. 

They were hooked! There was so much that they wanted to know about the sky!
-How does the sun move across the sky?
-Why is the sky blue but in space it is black?
-How does the moon change shape? 
-We need the sun, but do we need stars?
-Can we see the moon in the day?
-How was the moon made?
-How are clouds made?
-How do clouds move?

Based on our discussions, I set up some experiences to explore and found books and videos to help us with our investigation. They had discussed that the sky can be many different colors. As we looked closer they noticed that the sky was many different shades of blue.  This sparked a discussion about the colors of sunsets. I set up colors in our Art Studio to alow them to explore and show what they noticed. Blues were on one side, reds, oranges and yellows were on the other. 

We displayed what they noticed in the hallway. 

I set out some books, pictures, and materials for them to record what they might see, think and wonder about the moon.

They thought it was interesting that the moon didn't really change shape. It is always a sphere, but that the sun's light and shadow create the different shapes. 

They also learned that the moon orbits the earth. 

The kids were fascinated by the moons rough surface. They learned that it had not only craters but mountains! I mixed flour with white paint and they used it to create the moon with its rough, rocky surface. They used a water bottle to make the craters, then wrote something new they learned about the moon. 

also set out some books, items and materials for them to explore the stars. 

They learned why they look so small (because they are so far away), and that if you connect them they make pictures called constellations.  They enjoyed creating their own. 

Below, this friend is documenting that he noticed the stars were not all white but also blue and red! He was very excited to share this discovery with the class!

We then found out that each color star was a different temperature. 

We also learned that stars have a cycle and our sun is our very own star that is so close we can see it in the daytime!

I had a small area where they could explore about the sun and create the sun using spin art. 

They took a closer look at the sun to show what it looks like in the hallway. 

They painted it...complete with solar flares...

and wrote facts we had learned about the sun. 

We then showed how the earth goes around the sun (I guess we should have put the earth a bit closer).

The kids found out that it takes one year for the earth to travel around the sun. I posed the question, "So how many times have you traveled around the sun?" This was a great way for them to understand that for every year they have lived they have traveled around the sun that many times! We used this opportunity to document how the earth moves around the sun. 

Kids are always fascinated about the world around them. They didn't initially show interest in the sky, but once I had them look closer, there was no stopping them!

With only one week of school left, I know exactly how to keep them exploring for a few more days! Just wait and see what our last mini inquiry will be as we end our school year!

Our Poetry Celebration

Saturday, May 9, 2015

We decided to have some fun with our writing and explore poetry. We read some wonderful poetry books to help them see how poems are different. Some of the poetry books we read were written by kindergartners from my previous classes! The kids were very inspired and excited to get started! 

I started out by showing them how poets can write poems about ANYTHING! My favorite poet to read to them to prove this point is Valerie Worth. Her poems are short, simple, and about very random things!

I put random objects on their tables and told them to look at them with poets eyes. They looked very closely, noticed the details and started writing! 

Next we talked about white space and making a poem "look like a poem." We tell them that they can have fun with their words! They don't have to follow the conventional rules of writing! They loved this and those who had been having trouble with the conventional rules of writing really flourished. Students took clipboards everywhere so they could look at the world with poets eyes and write poems...especially when we went outside!

We started reading and focussing on some different types of poetry that they could  write. Free Verse,  "Sound Poems," picture poems where you incorporate the words into the pictures, -ing poems, list poems, etc. Most seemed to enjoy Free Verse. 
After most had written close to 20 poems, they picked out one poem for our class book. This was the poem they would read for our Poetry Celebration. 

This Poetry Celebration became a very large project! They came up with some menu ideas and collected data to find out which treat to make for our parents. 

Strawberry Torte had the most votes! We then started thinking about drinks. I told them I had found some herbs on the playground that we could make tea from!  We found mint and lemon balm. I also had some in pots. 

We tasted and smelled the herbs and made a graph to gather information. 

We created a banner for our room. 

Some worked on centerpieces for our tables to provide a beautiful setting. 

We wrote the recipes for our teas and followed them. We dried and crushed the herbs ourselves. The room smelled fabulous! What a great sensory experience for all of us! 

We sat the tea in the sun to warm and steep. 

Our next step was to make the tortes. 

We wrote invitations for our families to join us. 

We set up the room and made it beautiful for our families visit!

Our poetry books were displayed proudly on our tables. 

The kids went through and practiced reading all of their poems in their poetry books.  

We set out the refreshments. 

When everything was ready, the parents came in and the kids each read their poem. We had jazz music playing in the background to add more atmosphere and snapped for our friends to show how much we loved their poems. They did such a beautiful job!

After the poetry readings, the kids read to their parents from their own poetry books that they had written themselves and enjoyed some refreshment. 

It was such a lovely time and I truly love connecting with the families. The kids were so proud of all that they had accomplished. Writing poetry gave them a new purpose for writing and a new way to explore writing. They were excited and focused. Knowing they would be presenting to their families gave them a purpose and this made them do their personal best on every page! I do this every year because of the wonderful learning and life experiences that come from it every single time. 

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