Understanding the meaning of profit, earnings and expenses can be a challenge, but ask the fourth-grade students at Upland Heights Elementary about financial literacy and they’ll show you a hands-on method to grasp those concepts.
Market Day – a day fourth-grade students have been waiting for all fall semester. They have been working hard to earn “Tiger Bucks,” a form of money used at the different booths on Market Day to buy, sell and trade goods with their friends.
“The students were given Tiger Bucks for Tuesday Folders, report cards or other important papers being signed,” said fourth-grade teacher Linda Kittley. “They could also earn them for good behavior and showing great character.”
Students were held accountable for their money by risking losing their Tiger Bucks if they forgot things such as library books, journals, or things needed to finish a project in class. This encouraged the fourth-graders to be more responsible than usual and practice having a positive attitude.
After studying net profit, gross profit, supply and demand, students chose whether they wanted to purchase items and resell them, sell items they already owned or make new items to sell at Market Day.
“The students loved setting up their stores,” said Kittley. “They decided what to sell and what they wanted to charge for their products. If they were selling out quickly they could raise their price, and if they were not selling quickly they could lower their price as well. They also had to make the appropriate change when necessary.”
Items at the market included things like Pokemon cards, bookmarks, handmade bracelets, slime, a photo booth, candy, chips and other snacks. Students spent the day shopping, selling and having fun, all while practicing financial literacy.
“This project really reinforces profit, earnings and expenses which we cover in our Financial Literacy unit,” said fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Flores. “Every year, students are so creative and come up with new items to sell. It’s amazing to see them in action.”