Earning cash while learning in class

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What does homemade Play-Doh, trinkets made with a 3-D printer, frisbees made from paper plates and bubbling bath eggs have in common? The answer is that they’re lessons.

The items are all student-produced projects as part of the 10-week Cedar Hill School third grade entrepreneur program that came to a close Thursday with a marketplace where students, their parents and faculty got to go shopping.

Teachers Kerri Amerantes, Heidi Cianfarani and Tracy Peasley have found the program integrates a variety of learning experiences from an understanding of the development of a product, its manufacture to its marketing and sale. Peasley, who has run the program from its start, said she has seen the program transition from an exercise where parents did much of the product production to one where the students take the initiative.

As part of the curricula, the students also design their own cash with classes selecting the best designs by voting. Naturally, the winners are rewarded with cash. Students also earn cash – apart from selling their products – by perform helpful deeds at home.

But the best part comes at the market where students sold what they had made and discovered the power of what they learned.

“I think it excites them to see each other’s ideas,” said Ashley Cordle, mother of Mason Cordle, who concocted his own line of gem-shaped scented soaps. “It shows them how to work hard on something and see it through." 

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