Well howdy and welcome back to Monday,
I know you’re probably still reeling from the Teacher Appreciation Week euphoria and wishing you could just sit and be appreciated for the rest of the year. You may be finished with testing or getting ready to start. If you have not begun, here are some helpful hints to get you through. If you are finished with testing…WHOO HOO FOR YOU! I’m sure it’s a huge weight off your shoulders and now you can move on. So here’s what I’m thinking, why not do only one project the rest of the year? Your students get hands on learning, practice “real life” skills, and they’re exposed to numerous academic concepts. What is this magic project, you ask? It’s a class store. This is the perfect year-end project when testing is over and you’re not sure what else to do. Use this time to have some fun, teach your students a lot of real-world skills, and be truly amazed at how awesome your students are!
Now this is no ordinary class store, because we’re going to squeeze every ounce of hands on learning from it. I gave you a short overview in my post The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Project-Based Learning. Now of course PBL, as they call it over at the Buck Institute for Education, at first seemed to be very daunting. I wrote an ultimate beginner’s guide because that’s what I needed. I kept hearing this fun buzzword circling around the academic world and thought, I’m pretty sure that’s an awesome idea. Then again, I didn’t know until I did my research. Boy was I right!
Essentially it’s taking a real-life situation and turning it into a hands on learning experience. You’re showing students that many concepts they learn in school can be applied to life once they become adults. This is a great way to not only engage students, but to help them take responsibility for their learning. They see that what they are learning actually matters.
As I mentioned in my ultimate beginner’s post, if you’re a teacher of younger students you may be thinking, ain’t no way my kiddos are doing that. So, how do we make this effective for little guys? Now by little, I do mean probably old enough to do some writing so maybe late Kindergarten. You can always discuss in groups or as a class and have them copy a few sentences. I suggest 3-5 sentences based on the age group. If you have older kiddos, the sky is the limit. See what they can teach you. If you would like to stop here, and figure out your own project to do, here’s a nice little search engine for you!
For the next few weeks, I will be taking you step-by-step through this class project and you can follow right along with me. Please understand that my goal here is hands on learning life application and may not strictly adhere to the PBL specifics listed on the bie website. That being said, I will incorporate as much of this well-tested program as possible. Ready?
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills
- Challenging Problem or Question
- Sustained Inquiry
- Reading charts and graphs
- Constructing questions
- Writing cohesively about a topic
- Collect information from multiple resources
If you have not discussed goods and services already, do so. You want something easy, fun, and already put together for you, and includes a fun song that they will remember? Hop over to our store for an entire Goods and Services Bundle you can do one week.
If you have already taught goods and services, review key terms with your students. Tell your students they will be putting together a store. They will become producers and they are going to sell goods or services. For the purposes of this step-by-step, we will be getting more specific. Your students will be running a flower shop.
The first objective your students must complete for a successful business is a business plan. There are a number of ways you can do this as a business plan is very involved. You can:
- Split students into no more than four groups, present by category, combine most popular elements into one large class business plan
- Work on a plan together as a class
Choose the option that fits your class best. Give them “brainstorming time” to sit and think quietly each time you ask for feedback. You can get business plan templates on Powerpoint or
Here is a brief synopsis of each category
- Who buys flowers? Who sells flowers?
- What types of flowers can be bought/sold?
- They will discover that they can either sell cut flowers or potted flowers
- Where are flowers bought? Where are flowers sold?
- You might want to provide them with some graphs that show the most popular sources for people buying flowers
- Have them make lists of places they know flowers can be bought
- When do people buy flowers?
- Why do people buy flowers?
- How do people get flowers?
- Are they delivered? Are they purchased at a store?