Following conversations with my year 8 set 3 class and the apparent lack of experience and understanding they had when dealing with money related problems we decided to use some ‘real life’ situations to improve their understanding.
The idea behind this activity was to get the children to handle money and use their entrepreneurial and problem solving skills. They decided which products they were going to sell, and in some cases make, and then considered production costs when calculating prices – in order to maximise profit. They looked at offering discounts for multiple buys and percentage reductions and as the activity drew to a close, held closing down sales. They were also encouraged to short change their customers in an attempt to promote checking of change. This was obviously one of the highlights of the activity as the children enjoyed ‘getting one over’ on their class mates. They had to pay rental for their stall to the ‘market manager’ – they then received a rent rebate. The products they made included stress balls, loom band bracelets, chocolate brownies and drawings. One of the key areas for development that the activity highlighted was that the children had to develop and improve their mental calculations.
Feedback was positive and all wanted to do it again and agreed that they would definitely be more involved when handling money in shops in the future. They agreed that they didn’t check their change in shops and relied upon the honesty and maths skills of the shopkeeper rather than their own. Since the activity they have asked to repeat it on numerous occasions.