For MTBoS Mission #1, I was tasked to blog about either (1) a favorite open ended question or (2) one thing that makes my classroom distinctly mine. I’m going to go double or nothing and answer both questions together.
My classroom has a distinct culture of debate (see a few earlier posts like this one or this one). I try to foster an environment where students are open to discussion, making convincing arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others. This makes my classroom uniquely me (as I’m also a Speech & Debate coach!).
My favorite rich open ended problem is a debate about the music industry. The activity where I use it is the culmination of the many debate structures I introduce throughout the semester, ending in a full-scale, class-long debate. It goes something like this:
A new but promising young artist is trying to decide how to produce his new record. Should he choose a major record label, a legitimate indie label or independent producing? Below are the options.
• Major Record Label wants to sign the new artist. They will give the artist a $200,000 signing bonus, plus the artist will get $0.10 in royalty for each song sold.
• Indie Record Label wants to sign the new artist. They offer a $50,000 signing bonus plus $0.60 in royalty for each song sold.
• Self-Employed artists get to keep all their earnings. It will cost $20,000 for recording time and supplies, but once the record is made, the artist makes $0.80 per song sold.
• Eccentric Billionaire is always interested in new business adventures. He offers the artist $300,000 for full rights to the songs. The billionaire keeps all earnings of the song.