Learning Math through Business: Milkweed for Monarchs
Here at Real World Scholars, we know that every classroom is different. We make it a point not to be too prescribed in how to run a business. Creating a brand, forming departments, and selling products cross the country – in addition to teaching the existing curriculum – can seem like two separate challenges. We know two students who beg to differ. Read on to learn how Izzy and Ariana, 6th graders at Calavera Hills Middle School in Carlsbad, CA, have experienced the magic that comes from combining the business and the math curriculum into one intertwined adventure.
This year, the CHMS 6th grade class has been given an amazing opportunity. Our teachers wanted to show us the relevance of learning 6th-grade concepts while applying them to something meaningful, so we started a business with the help of Real World Scholars.
Our idea came from our Environmental Science class calling out for a need for help. The class proposed the problem and possible solution to the entire 6th-grade through a video.
Creating and running a business has allowed us to learn many things in different ways. It’s been great to be able to incorporate our math standards into our business in a way that makes learning fun and interesting. For example, when learning about percents and profit margins, we focused on what percent of profits we would like to use on different things. One idea that we have come up with is using our profits to help funds on KIVA, an organization that allows us to help others around the world. Our teacher taught us how to create a P and L sheet (Profit and Loss Sheet), which supports our learning about adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals. There have been so many examples of how we incorporated math into our business that we thought it best to attach them below.
Not only has this given us the opportunity to learn about how to run a business, but it has also opened doors like writing this blog! The business has changed our experience with math because it has taught us so much, so quickly. This is a huge step towards the future and everything that belongs in it, and it makes us realize how lucky we are to have Real World Scholars supporting our EdCorp and giving the 6th grade a huge opportunity!
Thank you so much!
Izzy & Ariana
6th Grade Students at CHMS
Things we have done in math for our business:
- Percents– Finding out the percentage of the Cost of Goods to the Total Cost. This allowed us to see where most of our money is being spent when making the product.
- Ratios – Ratios are measuring and comparing one thing to another. We worked with ratios when we found the ratios of seeds to soil to clay.
- CoGs(Cost of Goods) – How much the materials used to make the product cost. We use this to determine a reasonable price for our products!
- Rates – Rate is the process we used to find unit rates in our business. We learned that we could divide decimals as well. That helped us to a great extent because we needed to know that before ratios!
- Proportions – A proportion is when you write a ratio as a fraction, a different way of seeing a ratio.
- Best packaging options – Finding out what packaging options are the cheapest and best deal. We use this to get the best boxes for the cheapest price so we can use our money for other things.
- Best Priced Materials – Finding the cheapest materials for the best deal. We use this so we can get the cheapest materials for the best quality.
- Unit Rate/Unit Cost – How much something will cost for one item. We use this so we know how much it cost for one item if there are more than one in the pack.
- Business terms – Gross Profit/Profit-Loss/Operating Profit Slide show
- Total sale – After we find the cost of what it takes to make the product, we have to add a profit. After we add the profit, we get the total sales price.
- Operating Expenses – The operating expenses and losses. The operating expenses are how much money we used to advertise and show off our business. Operating loss is how much we lose from our profit when doing that. It is very important to have a large enough profit for the operating losses.
- Inventory – How much of the product we have in stock/made! This helps us keep track of sales and keep up with making products.