Biz World–Real World Skills!

  If you have followed me for long, you may remember my posts last year about “Biz World”–our A-MAZING end-of-year economy simulation.  If you aren’t familiar with it, I highly suggest you visit their website by clicking here to see what they have to offer.
In a nutshell, this simulation asks students to form into companies where they take a business (a “Friendship Bracelet” company) from idea to manufacturing to marketing to selling.  Students do everything from apply and interview for jobs to “pitching” their idea to the venture capitalist (yours truly!) to creating an advertising campaign, selling shares, paying taxes, and more.  And YES–this is fourth grade!  The kit is so wonderful…it gives you everything you need and makes it so meaningful for the students.  
Here’s how far we are…
We’ve talked about what a good business is–for both the customers and the employees.  I want them to be thinking about their own business and what will be important as they move through this process!
As the students started to get excited, I talked to them about all the job opportunities available within their companies…from president to any one of the 5 vice president positions–marketing, sales, manufacturing, finance, and design.  We talked about how people often try to look for jobs that use their “strengths” so we learned about each job and students had to think about whether or not that job might be a good fit for them!  Next steps?  Applying!
(yes…one student failed to turn it in–it was noted on interview day that she came without one!)
Students were asked to fill out a job application for the job they most wanted (and 2 back ups!) and the process began!  Students were very excited–until I took a quick survey and found that I had 8 wannabe presidents and 10 wannabe VP’s of Design!  Here’s where reality hit–I told them there are FOUR companies–so we only need FOUR of each job.  I asked them to think long and hard about how they would handle things if they didn’t get their first or even second choice…
Up next?  Resume building!  I showed the students several samples from past years of “student created” resumes, and we headed to the lab to get creative. The students had a BLAST and were super proud of all they have learned about formatting and word processing as they created their resumes.
After that, we did some talking about interviews, being professional, and so on.  We practiced looking each other in the eye and having firm handshakes.  We practiced answering questions without saying “ummm” and “like”.  We made THIS chart to help us prepare for our interviews…I didn’t post the final version because some personal information (names, etc) were on it.  You can get the picture…looks like no fidgeting, smiles, handshakes, eye contact…sounds like good manners, easy to understand speech, and so on.
The briefcases will be where each company stores its resources!
What’s next?  The interviews!  I had two dads from my class volunteer to come in and play the part of interviewer.  They were GREAT!  The students were called to the office two at a time to sit and wait their turn…
Then…based on their feedback, their job applications, and my common sense…I assigned everyone their jobs over lunch and quickly got their new name tags stuck to their desks…with their name on one side and their new title on the back!  They came in after lunch and saw their new desk tents and their jobs and were so excited!
Next steps?  Each company was color coded…either blue, purple, green, or yellow name tags and the students worked to move their desks together to form their companies!  Let the fun begin!
Stay tuned for an update!  Coming next week…naming our companies…making our “pitch” to the venture capitalist, raising some money and beginning the design process!