Wednesday, December 8, 2010

School Children in Business

What is it?

Biz Kids started in Term Four as a major craft project for five classes of Year 5/6 students, the project culminated in a Market Day in Week 9 which was SOLD OUT in just one hour with the parents, whaanau and junior class clients who attended. This Business of crafty wand sellers was very popular!! Such a COOL idea...

How does it work?

Children in each class had an opportunity to be a Buisness Manager which involved producing a C.V. and craft product description, buisness name and ideas to their Teacher. In my daughters class, for example there were 10 buisness managers who then advertised for the remaining students jobs to apply for.

Here is my daughter's ad for her Origami Buisness;

WANTED: Two Creative and Crafty Employees

This job is part-time and temporary.

We believe in turning boring old paper, either recycled and new, into anything using your imagination.

You will need to create products and come up with useful idea.

You will need to co-operate well, be organised, diligent, flexible, creative, independent and hard working.

You also need to have most of these skills wich are;

Good with numbers
Be able to do origami
Be artistic
Measure perfectly
Be extra careful

You will also need a 'can do' attitude!

Pay will be 2 Bart per week.

(Bart is the currency, different coloured paper with various amounts and the Bart Simpson logo on are exchanged by class CEO's on Market Day, $1.00 buys 3 Bart for example.)

Once all employees are hired they are trained and led by the Buisness Managers to produce a craft object for sale. In previous years Market Day has involved food products as well, Teachers found that this disadvantaged the craft making children who worked for weeks then were beaten by the hot chip stand next to them on the day! The logistics of managing baking in the School Staffroom by classes was problematic too. This year Biz Kidz is solely a craft sale day.

Buisnesses work for three afternoons a week prior to Market Day producing their products. All the money made from each Market Day goes toward buying supplies for the following year's Biz Kids Warehouse. It is so gorgeous seeing children's creativity on such a grand scale, children making for children and teaching supporting individuality and entrepreneurship.

Here is a collage of Biz Kid's products, tie-dyed scarves, bath salts, cards, games, finger puppets, stress balls...

What's the learning?

Children learn SO much, from articulating their skills in a Curriculum Vitae, confidence in interviewing and being interviewed, working on a long term goal alongside others. This year the classroom teachers including social networking tools and hosted chat forums for De Bono Hat thinking and discussion on Twiducate. I was quite heartened that most children were logging on, however mindful this is a high decile school and the assumption that most homes have internet access. I have found that parents vary in allowing access, depending on the age of the child ( I have worked with Juniors who are not allowed on the computer at home yet) and Teacher's recommendation... Including Twiducate in homework tasks ensured its success.

De Bono's Hats Picture Source

Curriculum Links?

Following Market Day they assess their writing, Technology, Visual Language, ICT and Key Competency skills;

Establishing role as business employer (manager) or employee
Displaying responsibility in chosen role
Keeping own accurate financial records
Planning Product -includes procedural writing
Making Products
Advertising Products
Presenting Products
Evaluating success of Buisness (Profit/Loss)

Children also tapped into their drama talents for their own video ads, storyboarding funny ideas, dressing up and acting it out for viewing by the other classes...

To view the full video on the school website click here

Where did it start?

I have been trying to find out where it started and by who, but there is lots on the web about Education 4 Enterprise and it's association with the NZ Curriculum, perhaps Biz Kidz originated from this initiative or is the Primary School version of E4E?...

It's definition useful in emphasizing the learning present in such a process;

"...a teaching and learning process directed towards developing in young people those skills, competencies, understandings, and attributes which equip them to be innovative, and to identify, create, initiate, and successfully manage personal, community, business, and work opportunities, including working for themselves."
E4E Quote Source

Personal Reflection

My daughter has gained so much from being a part of Biz Kids. I talked to Teachers and some say how much work it is, and that colleagues are reluctant to take this on. The majority, having seen the results for children, support it to carry on each year and for this I thank them. Term Four can be a term where enthusiasm and energy is lacking, but with this project and the intrinsic drive that creativity creates I think Biz Kids is perfect for this time of year. My daughter learnt to teach and manage others, to develop a successful and beautiful product and to persevere and work towards an event. I have seen her blossom in confidence through this, with the belief that she can have her own business!

To learn how to make items, as pictured above watch you tube tutorials and visit this origami site Squidoo

Since Market Day we have been busy with orders for Paperlicious Origami Flowers and are working towards our first Market Day in real life. My daughter has learnt to stock up, as these are so popular!

This post is dedicated to all Teachers, who don't think of how much 'work' something may be but of its potential to help children learn more about themselves and their capabilities in creative and exciting way! Ka Rawe Kaiako

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