The aroma of freshly baked donuts welcomed students and staff who stepped down the stairs of Brumby Elementary School. The inviting smell lured potential customers into the three classrooms-turned donut shops where student entrepreneurs tested their salesman skills.
The handmade donuts, adorned with a variety of colored icing and toppings, sold quickly, especially when the fourth and fifth graders swarmed the shops. The teachers lined up too. Some had a twinkle in their eyes at the sight of the mouthwatering treats.
Over the two days that the student-run shops were open, the students raised almost $1,000. The budding entrepreneurs are fourth graders in Krista Smith’s class, and the donut shops were part of an integrated math lesson, which the students had been working on most of the first quarter of the year.
“They built the businesses from the ground up,” their teacher explained. “They had to find the parameter of each of their rooms. They had to find a room that matched their parameter. They had to find furniture.”
They also had to map out budgets for their donut shops. They had to determine how much to charge for donuts. Two shops priced their donuts at $1.00 each while the third shop opted to go higher with $2.00, betting on demand rising when the older students dropped in. Of course, the students baked their own donuts too.
“They came up with their own menus,” their enterprising teacher added. “Our career development teacher helped with the business plan. Our art teacher helped them work on the cover of their menus. We used technology and transferred the menus into something digital.”
Smith got the idea for the cross-curriculum lesson from Cobb County School District Board Member David Banks, who toured the school over the summer and encouraged Smith to help her students become entrepreneurs.
Smith was excited that the entrepreneur lesson gave her an opportunity to make math standards relate to the real world for her students. The project also helped the students with more than just math skills.
“Doing project-based learning has really helped the students not only be engaged, and learn these entrepreneur skills, but it has also helped the students communicate and collaborate.”
After the shops closed their doors, the students returned to their classroom where their fourth-grade teacher helped them calculate their profits versus expenses. They also talked about how they could turn more of a profit if they do things like, not eating and drinking their profits.
The money raised from the shops will go toward boosting future entrepreneur activities for Brumby students.