Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2nd Grade School Store Project


During the 2015-2016 school year our second grade class put 21st century skills into practice when we planned, organized, and opened the Camas Ridge Community Store.  We used our creativity and imagination to brainstorm ideas for the store.  We used collaboration and teamwork skills to pull the project together.  After the store was up and running we used our critical thinking and problem solving skills to refine the day-to-day running of the store.  Here you will find a summary of our yearlong project.

Driving Question:
How can we as a entrepreneurs create an inclusive and profitable school store while meeting the needs and wants of our school community?

School Store Process/Timeline
Students master basic money skills. Students obtain funding. Activities include:
Students work towards proficiency in working with money.  Students must be able to identify coins & currency, count coins & currency, and make change.  In addition students practice with play money in the classroom setting using a ‘pretend school store’.  In our classroom this happens during math centers with an adult volunteer for supervision and guidance.
Students approach an official funding source to obtain a business loan.  Our class asked our school site council to loan us $200.00 to purchase our first inventory.  Students worked as a class to format an official letter. A representative group of 4 students attended an official meeting to present our proposal.  In following years students will present to site council our official financial reports.
Students begin planning the store. Activities include:
Brainstorming: Students make lists of items they would like to sell at the store. Students can use websites such as Oriental Trading Company to determine inventory choices, actual cost, proposed school store price, and profit on each item. [See Form 1]  The math on this form is very complex. We did much of it in small groups and as a class after students filled in the items and catalog pricing.  Also the concept of ‘profit’ was difficult for the 2nd graders.
Market Research Surveys: Students create and conduct surveys to determine what the school store stock should consist of. Students survey the student body and staff to gain input.  [See Form 2] 
Collaborative Process: Students are divided into purchasing groups. (4-6 Students per group).  Final inventory selections at our school were limited to school supplies, fidgets (small toys), healthy snacks, and arts& crafts items.  Purchasing groups can use store data to determine which items are selling well and which items the group may want to discontinue. 
Scheduling: Decide when your store will be open.  Our class selected recess times at all grade levels twice per week.  We were very busy so we ended up with 4 students working. We had two tills so we could have two lines of customers.  Two students worked each till. One student handled the money and one student retrieved the items for the customer. Parent volunteers helped the 2nd grade students during each shift.
Advertising the Grand Opening:  Name the store! After you have a name and a schedule for the store students create signs to advertise the grand opening. Students write verbal announcements to be read over the school intercom.
Order Inventory: Teacher orders inventory.  I bought the snacks locally. I ordered the school supplies and small toys from Oriental Trading Company.
Product Display: When the inventory arrives create a poster board displaying your merchandise and pricing. [See Photos]  All items in our store are $2.00 or less. Most items are under $1.00. A favorite item is purchasing 5 eraser tops for a quarter (only .05 cents each!).
Open your store!  Our store was open twice per week.  Activities include:
Scheduling: Each week two students work on the schedule for the following week using a class list, making sure each student has equal opportunities to work in the store. We scheduled four storekeepers each morning recess, thus 12 students worked in the store each day we were open. We were open and Wednesday and Thursday each week. [Form 3]
Inventory:  Each week two students count the inventory left in the store. [Form 4] (I selected students who were still working on grouping and counting skills.) The class used this data to analyze sales trends and inventory needs.  More proficient math students helped me input the inventory data into an excel spreadsheet. This is helpful in creating graphs for in class math activities.  [See Photos]
Counting the Till:  Each day students who need the most practice counting money were selected to count the ‘real money’ with an aid or parent volunteer. [Form 5]
To run an inclusive store for all students we created a donation jar for school store scholarship money. Students in need were recommended by their homeroom teacher to receive a $2.00 scholarship each month so they could make purchases at the store.  We also decided as a class to use some of our profit to supplement the scholarship fund.
We are very limited on extra space in our building.  To solve the space issue I purchased a rolling cabinet from Craigslist. The cabinet is rolled out to the breezeway before recess and all of our inventory fits nicely inside the cabinet.


Our Merchandise Board

First Day Crowd
Mental Math Figuring Change

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Back to School... Start the Year off Right!

I know it is only mid July, but I can't help thinking about the first week of school.  This will be my 19th year welcoming eager students to another school year.  I have some favorites I do every year with my students during the first week of school.  I have students complete surveys about themselves so I can gather specific information about each student. Another activity is creating a class scrapbook.  Each child completes a page of the book. Then we bind it together using book rings. The children enjoy looking at it all year long.  Below is a sample page of a scrapbook we put together.  Another favorite of mine is  If you would like all to view all ten of my first week activities please visit DVD's Creations!  I'd love to see comments below of how you start your first week of school.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Activities-Writing-Surveys-Art-Community-Building-and-more-2636030 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Activities-Writing-Surveys-Art-Community-Building-and-more-2636030
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pointillism + Georges Seurat + Q-Tips = Art!

Second Grade Art at it's best!  This year we learned about Georges Seurat and Pointillism. After learning some art history about Georges Seurat, students created their own original art.  If you would like to teach some art history this year and wrap it up with a very simple art activity you can download the unit at DVD's Creations

FREE Science Journal Pages for Elementary Scientists

I've posted a new freebie in my store... These are great pages for keeping elementary science journals organized.  At the beginning of each school year I purchase a composition book for each of my 2nd grade scientists.  I explain this is their very own science journal. This is where we take notes and complete interactive journal activities. At the end of the year the journal is about half full. I encourage students to take there journals home and continue to be scientists over the summer break. Here are a few pages I created as FREEBIES to get you started. I have the cover page, a  vocabulary page, and an observation page.  These can be used for any science investigation.  Get yours today and help your students get organized this fall and as always have FUN with science!

Click Here to Download from DVD's Creations
Click Here to Download from Dropbox
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Happy Students DO Science!

Students get so excited about Science! The above video illustrates how excited students get when they get to do the science rather than read about it, watch a video, or just watch the teacher!  However, much of the learning comes as students complete science journal entries along with the hands on lab demonstrations.  My next unit is based on the three states of matter and includes this simple experiment using a film canister, Alka-Seltzer, and water. It also includes guided lab journal entries for our 'Lil' Scientists'!  I'm calling the new unit "Up, Up, and Away". I'll let you know when it is complete.