Cohort Update: Creating Your Own Business

Yesterday students delved into 5 learning stations with the goal of learning how to think like entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create things people buy. Customers buy solutions to problems. So what better way to kick off this project then to invite students to identify problems they face. Here are some problems students identified in their own lives:

  • I run out of drawing pads because I am drawing all of the time.
  • My shoes come untied when I play soccer.
  • I slip when I play basketball.
  • I have a difficult time waking up to my alarm.
  • I run out of thread when I am sewing.
  • I under cook food.
  • I have trouble carrying my saxophone because it is too heavy.
  • My bus ride to school is long and get bored.
  • We have mice in our house and they chew everything!
  • My pet stinks.

These problems (and others) will serve as a springboard to begin thinking about solutions that customers will want to buy. Once students identify a product or service (or an improvement to an existing product or service) they will develop a plan for their business. If you think about it, a business is really nothing more than one person making life easier for another (for a fee of course!). Students will develop the following components for their business plans:

  • Company Overview: Identify your product/service and explain why people NEED this!
  • Executive Summary: Tell who you are and why you are qualified to start this business. Tell about your experiences and background and why you decided to start this business.
  • Target Audience: Identify WHO is going to buy the product/service.
  • Marketing Plan: Create a business name, logo, and slogan that appeals to your audience.
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Middle School STEM Challenge: Day 2

Today 7th and 8th graders met to continue planning how they will address their individual STEM challenges as they work together to create a live experience for the TAIT STEM Challenge. All 5 crews brainstormed ideas for their live performance and decided their production will be, Wonderland the musical!

Crews planned, discussed, tested, and began to assemble the materials provided to feature a main stage, sound system, overhead rigging, automation, and scenery! Two more classes to go before I take a video highlighting each crews work on the live event. The team’s TAIT Challenge video will be submitted to the TAIT towers contest on December 13th.

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Middle School STEM Challenge

TAIT, the world market leader in designing, constructing and delivering live events solutions, is offering Middle School students an opportunity to create a live event featuring a main stage, sound system, overhead rigging, automation and scenic elements. Students must use the materials provided by TAIT Towers as well as class room supplies such as tape, scissors, markers and rulers to build their own live event. Meet the members of the 5 TAIT Challenge Crews:

Here is the stage. The cookie sheet must be positioned in the middle of two chairs 24 inches apart.

Crews received their packet of materials along with a card that explained their goals for the live event. Crews shared the element they plan to build and identified what other crews they need to work with in order to build their element. Crews also decided on the type of live event they will be featuring. Looks like they’re going with a musical! Here’s a shot of the brainstorming session from today.

Notes From The First Production Meeting

Students will meet 2 more times to plan and build their element of the live production. On December 13th students will set up all elements of the live production. I will take a highlight video of each crew explaining what elements they built, the materials they used and why they chose to build the way they did. The video will be submitted to the TAIT Challenge at the end of class. Stay tuned to see what these 14 creative 7th and 8th graders come up with!

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Book Swap Reminder: We Need More Books!

Students have one more Cohort day to bring books in for our first annual Book Swamp. The Book Swap will be held during Cohort on December 12th for Grades 3-4 and December 13th for Grades 5-6.

As of today, 8 students (out of 60) contributed a total of 38 books. Thank you Annaleigh, Emma, Charlotte, Lucas, Miles, Torsten, Bailey and Natalie for your contributions! Consider using the upcoming vacation to pull together gently used books for the book swap and bring them to cohort the first week of Decemeber!

Book Swap Contributions

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Middle School Gifted Support Update

Mrs. D’Amico and I (Mrs. Orihuel) work closely with 7th and 8th graders to support students in their classrooms, as learners, and to address their needs as they navigate middle school. Manor Middle School students are working on Self-Advocacy and completing self reflections of the first marking period. Marticville Middle School students are participating in a 6 week course to highlight individual strengths and challenges. Once personal profiles are completed students attended classes that were relevant to their areas of need. Topics included; organization, time management, study skills, procrastination, and stress.

Parents, make Sunday night a backpack check. Have your child empty out their entire backpack and sit with them, or close by for support, and help them organize their backpack for the week. 7th and 8th graders typically KNOW what to do, they just need TIME to do it! Here’s an inside look at what backpacks can look like (I have student permission to post this picture.).

Make Sunday Night Backpack Clean Out Night!
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