A bus ride alone can be very exciting for a kindergarten student. But when the bus is taking the student to Target, where he will be purchasing something cool for his classroom using money that he and his classmates earned, the experience is nothing short of amazing!
The Sage School Kindergarten recently headed to the big-name store with profits made from running their own class store. The K Shop, which opened at the conclusion of their money and economics unit, was the brainchild of Kindergarten Teacher JoAnna Telschow. Telschow wanted to make the concept of money more tangible to her students, and she believed that helping them develop a business plan would be an ideal way. (Read more about the K Shop and its grand opening here.)
Though the K Shop was open to members of the Sage community for just a few hours over three days, the class exceeded their initial business goal and earned over $150 in profits! The Kindergarten had a big decision to make – what do they do with the money?
The group had determined early on in the process, through a series of brainstorming and voting sessions, that they would purchase items for the STEM area in their classroom that could be used by all. “We have some ‘Free Play’ blocks built into our schedule,” said Telschow, “and the students really enjoy building and doing dramatic play. This was a space they wanted to expand more.” What specifically would be purchased was up to each student.
Working within a $20 budget, each kindergartner researched (with supervision) some possibilities on Target.com, and then created a wish list. They needed to decide on toys that not only they themselves would enjoy, but decide on ones they knew others would appreciate as well.
When the big day came, the excitement and anticipation was palpable during the fifteen-minute bus ride to the nearest store. The class was fortunate to have two parents, Ms. Vasil and Mrs. McCluney, on hand to assist students in locating the correct aisles and identifying the top item on their list. Two children were initially disappointed to discover that stores often run out of popular items such as theirs. (A helpful Target employee confirmed the items were out of stock.) However, the foresight by Ms. Telschow to develop a lengthy wish list enabled those students to pick other items that would benefit the classroom – a good lesson for being well prepared!
Next came the checkout line, where students observed as Ms. Telschow brought out the pile of cash raised by the sales from the K Shop. Kindergartner Aadhira S. watched carefully as her teacher counted out the money they owed the cashier. As the trusted cashier for the K Shop, Aadhira was very familiar with this process.
When the last of the students boarded the bus carrying the bags of newly-purchased toys, there were cheers from the students, and maybe even a few sighs of relief. After all, these five- and six-year-olds had developed a business plan, constructed and promoted a new store, and thoughtfully shopped with their profits, all in just a few weeks.
“Will you go to Target with your class next year, Ms. Telschow?” asked one boy. “I can’t answer that,” she replied. “Next year’s class may decide to do something totally different with their earnings. For example, we might end up at Petco if they decide we should buy a class pet with the profits.”
One thing IS for certain; next year’s kindergarten class has A LOT to look forward to.