04 Jun When Kids Become Global Shopkeepers
by Gabriela Bermingham, second grade dual language teacher in Asheville, NC
For the last two years, T2TGlobal has shipped boxes to me full of handicrafts from countries such as Guatemala, Ecuador and Kenya. My students sell the items at our school at the start of the day. The purpose of the project is to raise money for a school in Guatemala that T2TGlobal connected me with, called La Puerta Abierta. We call our store The Global Shop, and every student in my class has the opportunity to work at it.
In addition to running the shop, students help implement a penny drive fundraiser for all the students and classrooms at our school. A letter is sent home encouraging families to send in donations of loose change for a school in Guatemala. Every classroom teacher has a collection jar. After four weeks, we collect the jars, and my local bank counts the money. The class with the highest donation wins a pizza party.
In preparation for opening The Global Shop, my students practice selling items, counting money and giving change. Every student takes turns being both an employee and a customer. We do these role plays for several weeks so that they feel confident in handling money and making calculations. Once the store opens, they are familiar with the items, how much they cost and how to give correct change.
Business Is Good
The Global Shop opens for business outside my classroom between 7:30 and 8:00 each morning. Every day without fail, students eagerly line up to make purchases! My second graders interact with the customers while I keep an eye out to make sure the money is being handled correctly.
At the end of each week, I deposit the money collected from our sales, and on Monday my students add up the new deposit total to the previous one to see how much money we have made so far. They keep track of this in their math journals. Also, after each week, we color a new section in large bar graph I created to portray the gains. This graph is displayed outside my classroom so that everyone can feel good about helping a school in Guatemala.
My second grade students also learn about the economy, using The Global Shop as an example. They are able to learn about supply and demand when they see how some items are more popular than others and sell out quickly. They are learning about inventory when we count the items we have for sale. They also learn about the meaning of profit when they compare how much an item cost to buy in another country to how much we actually sell it for. In short, they see math in action.
Overall, my students look forward to these global experiences. They are gaining real-life math skills while becoming citizens of the world. When asked what they like best about running the Global Shop, they most often describe counting the money, meeting new people, and giving to Guatemala.
Hear them for yourself in this video!