Not Business as Usual at Trailwoods: Business Finance Class Learns Entrepreneurship
At Trailwoods Elementary, it's not business as usual for its fourth through sixth grade students. When you walk into the school on a Tuesday or Thursday, you will find the older students taking part of their day working in the school store, learning about stage blocking or even checking the moisture levels of their plant projects.
That’s because along with traditional classes, older students have access to try new activities through a series of electives. Hosted twice a week, students try one of a variety of electives, including business finance, debate, home economics, creative writing, greenhouse science and drama.
“We wanted to give our older students an opportunity to do more than reading, writing and math,” Trailwoods Elementary Principal Leah Starr said. “By offering electives, students get a chance to experience a new topic and potentially discover something they might really enjoy.”
This month, the business finance class hosted a market where they promoted products to other Trailwoods students. Led by Trailwoods Vice Principal Marjorie Mayes, the business finance class teaches students all about entrepreneurship. Throughout the semester, they learn the basic steps of starting a business.
“They learned about logos, colors and even about basic market research,” Ms. Mayes said. “Then, they asked fellow classmates what products they would be interested in purchasing. From there, they developed their product and learned how to market to the classes.”
These young entrepreneurs prepared for the market by helping each other make products, including a variety of slime, stress relievers and handmade bracelets. One group decided to offer a popular service – locker cleaning assistance. To get an edge on the competition, each group promoted their products through morning announcements, flyers and posters.
“I have enjoyed learning about the market research, plus, getting to choose what you want to sell and making it myself,” Trailwoods student Melanie Sanchez said. “There have been so many cool activities like making bracelets, slime and toys. It’s been fun working together.”
For two days, classes visit the market and use Blue Jay tickets, an incentive award, to purchase items. While students are determined on showcasing their products, they are really in it for the competition – who sells the most. The class tracked sales through the tickets to determine the winner.
At the conclusion of the market, students will reflect on how their products sold, review feedback from their customers and complete the final project with “lessons learned.” Plus, they will present their findings to the school to showcase the business finance elective. In addition to hands-on projects like the market, these students also work in the school store once a week.
“This has been a valuable opportunity for our students,” Ms. Starr said. “My goal is for them to discover a new talent and build confidence that they can do just about anything they set their mind to do.”