Dollars and sense at Hillpoint

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kadience Jones, Donna Pierre, Haylee Bergerlo and Chandira James join in a craft activity during Hillpoint Elementary School’s Economics Fair Tuesday.

Kadience Jones, Donna Pierre, Haylee Bergerlo and Chandira James join in a craft activity during Hillpoint Elementary School’s Economics Fair Tuesday.

An event at Hillpoint Elementary School on Tuesday helped prepare students for the world of earning, saving and spending.

During class, second-graders have been earning “tickets” for exemplary behavior and conscientiousness.

“Today, they take their tickets, and they can purchase goods and services,” teacher Chloricia Meyers said, explaining the Economics Fair.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

To stretch a simile, the second-grade hall was like the Agora marketplace of ancient Greece: Student merchants — after being student producers earlier — sold a variety of wares.

Mrs. Breland’s class had put together some “peanut-friendly trail mix,” and Ms. Wooding’s students made lemonade.

In Mrs. Cameron’s class, they had strung bracelets. Mrs. Riley led her students in producing “pencil snakes.” Ms. Wood’s students offered face painting at the fair, and Meyers’ little capitalists made foam art.

“Stalls” lined the hall and also outside the building. One classroom was given over to dancing — it was pay-to-play there, as well — and two were set up as quiet rooms, where those out of dough could read for a few minutes and replenish their rolls.

“We have also learned about citizenship and responsibility,” Meyers said. “When they earn tickets, they have to be responsible. We also talked about self-discipline and self-reliance. It ties in with our SOLs (Standards of Learning).”

Students also broached the subject of scarcity, according to teacher Sarah Wood, Hillpoint’s second-grade chair.

For instance, when there is no more trail mix to go around, they have to come to terms with the fact that it’s a scarce resource, and perhaps wait for some more to be produced.

Another concept Wood cited is consumer choice. Students had only so many tickets, so they had to carefully select what to buy.

Marketing and advertising were also involved, with students promoting their wares to generate sales.

Economic principles begin being taught in kindergarten, Wood said, when students learn about needs and wants.

“Then it’s goods and services in first grade,” she said. “So we are just building on their knowledge, and adding to it.”

Some of the second-graders already knew at least a little about earning and spending. Kori Young said she helps her dad mow the lawn for pocket money, while Alexis Drayton helps her mom clean up.

“I’m saving for an iPhone 5,” Alexis said.