Thank you to all who attended Grandparents, Family, and Friends Day last week! Your attendance made for an atmosphere of warmth, celebration, and pride as the students got the chance to show you all they've been working on this year.
Last week, our business-people-in-training got the chance to listen to guest speaker Rayce Nahmias tell us all about his life as a business-owner! Mr. Nahmias, an HHAI graduate, owns two local restuarants -- The Lit Moose and Coalition. He also happens to be the cousin of our very own Josh!
The 3rd graders have reason to want to absorb the wisdom of Mr. Nahmias. After all, they recently ran a successful business of their own. Soon we will begin our classroom mini-economy, where the students will be able to develop and run their own businesses for class currency. Knowing this, the students eagerly prepared questions in advance of Mr. Nahmias's presentation.
Mr. Nahmias had so much helpful advice to share! He gave us lots to think about, including how to decide the name/brand of your business, testing your product on a small scale, and the importance of accepting feedback from your customers. Like all savvy businessmen, Mr. Nahmias understands incentives -- if the students answered questions correctly, they got a free hat!
When I last blogged about our classroom business journey, we had just made a research-based decision regarding the price of our product. A lot has happened since then!
Step 3: Create a Business Plan
Once we had our price figured out, along with our projected profit that came from the market surveys, we were ready to write a formal business plan. After looking at a few examples of business plans online, I made a simple template. We then went to the computer lab, huddled around the projected document, and began to write collaboratively. I would explain what each section title meant and what it was asking for, and the students would raise their hand to suggest sentences that would further clarify our message while flowing nicely with the sentences that came before it.
Not only was I able to model the logistics of creating a document (correcting misspellings, reformatting, etc.), but the students were able to model good writing techniques for one another. For example, when one student suggested a sentence referencing Smokey, another student raised his hand and said, "Who's Smokey? We haven't explained to the reader that Smokey is the name of our class pet!" There were also many instances where students were reminding one another to stay firmly on the topic of whatever section we were creating. Whether it be topic sentences, details, or conclusions, the students would raise their hands when we arrived at a strength of theirs. This allowed them the opportunity to model tough writing techniques for those who struggle with them.
In the end, a business proposal was created. Bunny Bracelets, Inc. was born.
Step 4: Apply for a Loan
Smokey needed her surgery right away, and we knew we wouldn't be able to manufacture our product in time. So my brave little 3rd graders took our business proposal to the director of the PTO. Their goal was to convince him that we had a solid, well-thought-out plan, and that we were confident we would profit enough to pay back the loan.
The PTO director had many questions for us, along with some very helpful feedback. In the end, he approved the loan!
That's all for now. Check back soon to find out whether Bunny Bracelets, Inc. was a success!
Little people, big minds.