The Exchange

ISSUE 22.3

Everyday Stocks and Flows: Problem Sets for Middle Grades

Updates on:
International System Dynamics Conference

Camp Snowball


2014 ST/DM Conference
Integrating Learning Environments
The CLE will host our biennial ST/DM conference at the Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, MA, from June 28 to June 30, 2014.
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Everyday Stocks and Flows Problem Sets
for Middle Grades
by Alan Ticotsky

Educators new to system dynamics may think there is a ‘standard’ sequence of learning and teaching for K-12 educators:  behavior-over-time graphs (BOTGs), feedback loops, stock and flow (S/F) diagrams, and computer modeling. This is a classic case of applying linear thinking to systems thinking without realizing it.

A teacher found that she hadn’t appreciated the power of BOTGs in her math teaching until she learned how to construct S/F diagrams with her class. She found a lot of insight among students when she asked them to graph stocks and flows on the same scale. They began to understand rates of change and really grasped the connection between stocks and flows.

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Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference
Babson Executive Conference Center, Wellesley, MA
June 28 – June 30, 2014


The Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 education will provide resources and opportunity for educators and interested citizens to explore what is current and possible in K-12 systems education.

With Common Core Standards being implemented and education evolving, we all look for effective methods to improve learning. The variety of tools available today can lead to disjointed instruction. However, with an effective approach to integrating all aspects of the learning environment, students learn and teachers succeed. System dynamics and systems thinking provide such strategies. System dynamics is a methodology to explore complexity, interconnectedness and change over time. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, policy maker, curriculum developer, education trainer, or interested citizen, you will find plenty to learn at the 11th Biennial Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference.

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