Friday, December 16, 2011

Getting Down to Business

This time of year always seems to be a frenzy of activities from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales day in November all the way through New Years celebrations.  Everywhere I go I see signs and flyers advertising a sale with the "perfect gift" for "that special someone."  This time of year also means a busy and somewhat chaotic environment in our fourth grade classroom.  The month of December has been dedicated to a business unit for fourth graders.  The project is an aggregate of various content area pieces including the writing of a formal persuasive business letter, creating a marketing plan, developing a budget, and collaborating with business partners.  There is plenty of study that precedes the creation of a business plan; some lessons include reading and discussion about teamwork, entrepreneurship, economics, marketing, financial decision-making, and persuasive writing.

All of this work is direct preparation for selling products in stores during three days of sales in the "4th Grade Mall."  This project has been going on in our school for many years and children look forward to the opportunity to be an entrepreneur.  It's also a great way to keep students engaged, motivated, and working together in the weeks and days leading up to a long winter break.  Check out the commercials some students made to advertise their business.

Business owners in all fourth grade classes get a chance to see how well they designed and marketed their products when first, second and third grade students shop at their stores.  For three days our classroom (and the entire fourth grade pod) is transformed in one shopping mecca.  It's a great experience for producers and consumers.  Some kids even find just the right knick-knacks to give their loved ones!  

Happy Holidays!