Our February market was one of the best mornings of this school year to date! I sat in awe observing the 3rd graders as they showed interest in one another's accomplishments, negotiated prices, made informed decisions with their money, and moved through this open-ended activity with such harmony. You could feel it in the room, this energy of excitement, busyness, learning, and doing.
The businesses themselves were the same as the previous market, so I won't add captions to the photos (see previous post for descriptions). However, there was one new business -- Yakira's spin art! As you can see in the photo, this addition was quite a hit!
The great thing about having repeat businesses at the market is the opportunity for improvement. Iterative learning is all about doing an activity or project more than once, so that students can reflect, make a change, and observe the results. Lila and Leon added a service to their business -- body painting! Dovid-Meir and Rena added more good outcomes to their game. Even Yakira, whose business was new, decided to raise her prices midway through the market in response to her product's popularity! I also made an adjustment to my ticket-selling business by adding experiences that were recommended by my consumers (the students). They said they wanted to be able to purchase time on our class computer as well as time on the brand new HUGE computer in the computer lab. I added those tickets and made sure to explain to the class that smart business-owners listen to what the consumers are asking for.
Iterative learning doesn't just happen. Students need some support and prompting to help them make the most of the process. One important step in this process is reflection. After each market, the students sit down to reflect about their experience and to develop ideas for the next market while it's still fresh in their minds.
I'm always so delighted at how collaborative the mini-economy and markets become. This student recommended that I sell classes that the students can pay for. This idea completely blew my mind! In 4 years of teaching economics this thought had never occurred to me! When given the opportunity, children have the capacity to teach us so much.
I'll leave you with what the students said they enjoy about the market experience:
Our next market will take place Friday, March 29th. Keep your eye on the blog!
Little people, big minds.