Tuesday, March 19, 2013


BizWorld is a program that provides entrepreneurship and financial education to students.

BizWorld 4.0 has arrived.  Click here to get started.

Currently, there are three programs teachers can use in his/her classroom:

Program description
The BizWorld Foundation, in conjunction with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Kerpoof, created an integrated business, entrepreneurship, and computer-animated movie production curriculum.
This real-world simulation gives students the opportunity to create animated movies using online “MovieMaker” technology, introducing them to basic programming as they start and run their own movie production companies. Children experience the entire entrepreneurial cycle as they work together to design, produce, market and sell tickets to their animated film.
BizMovie teaches students the value of creative and critical thinking as they gain practical experience in the business world. Participation helps students to see how their unique talents and skills translate from the classroom to the real world.

Program description
The BizWorld program teaches the basics of entrepreneurship, business and finance by showing children how the entrepreneurial cycle operates in the friendship bracelet industry. Students are divided into companies, with each student taking on a leadership role to support the team in designing, manufacturing, marketing and selling their products in the BizWorld marketplace.
Students can experience the entire entrepreneurial cycle in just ten hours as they create a revenue stream, deduct expenses, experience a profit or loss, create an income statement and value their company.
The impact the program has on children is vast -- from inspiration to creating their own companies, to understanding the relevance of being successful in life and academics.

From BizWorld.org:

Program description
The BizWiz program teaches children the basics of money management and investing. During the course of this project-based program, students are divided into “Investment Teams” that set a financial goal, develop an investment strategy and trading plan, create a diversified portfolio, and track their investments. Together, teams participate in simulated trading sessions to work toward meeting their financial goals.
By participating in the BizWiz program, students learn how to think critically about investing and understand the factors that contribute to a smart financial strategy.
Use with the BizWiz EL Guide and teach financial concepts visually!

Last year, I began using BizMovie.  I started it with my advanced class, and they loved it.  We held a box office, and "sold" tickets to other students.  The students had to create and present their marketing campaign, show their commercial, and then present the movie.  This goes along with financial documents they are keeping up with in the classroom.

Here is a link to the commercial and video one group created.

Both the commercial and movie were created using kerpoof.

I have started it with my current class, and they are anxious to get started.  As an extension this year, my class is also going to create a "live" movie to go with the animated version.

I hope you are able to find these programs beneficial in your classroom.  They are able to take the kids out of the "classroom" and into the "business world".

Happy Business making!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Minute to Win It Battle Ball

I am always trying to find creative ways to assess my students.  With benchmarking, the kids become overwhelmed with all the tests.  I have done partner tests, tests where the kids rotate around the room, group tests, etc.  Measurement is a difficult concept, so on my big measurement test this year, I let them work in their houses.

I created:  Minute to Win It Battle Ball:  A game of Brains and Skill

The kids LOVED it!  I had kids so excited about coming up and answering the questions.  At first I used a random number generator found with the SMARTboard.  The numbers 2 and 4 were not coming up very often, so the kids asked me to use something else.  I started using an interactive number cube, and it was much better.

Work in your house to answer the questions.
You want to add as many points to your house while taking away points from another house.

• Each person in the house needs to have a number 1-5 (6 th period will have 1-4) in the
top right hand corner of your paper. Do not use the same number. If you don’t have
enough house members, someone will need to be the other number(s).
• Work together in your house to solve the questions.
• Everyone must be working the problems on his/her own paper.
• Periodically, time will be called and all papers need to be put in the air.
• A number will be randomly selected.
• The person with that number must IMMEDIATELY go to the front of the room with
his/her own paper.
• I will look at a problem. If the answer is correct, 5 points are added to the house. If
the answer is wrong, 5 points are deducted from the house. If there is not any work,
five points are immediately lost and the player is disqualified from the round.
• The players will then get to try to make a basket.
• If the basket is made, an additional 5 points are added to the house, and the player
can take away 5 points from another house or combination of houses.
• Play continues until questions have been graded.
• Questions should be graded by all students as we go through the game.
• 5 points will be deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct (including telling other groups to
shut up)

Minute to Win it Round:
• Periodically, a random person will come forward to complete a skill.
• If the skill is completed within one minute, 50 points are added to the house.
• The first person to complete the task will win an additional 50 points, and he/she can
deduct 25 points from any house or combination of houses.

+5: correct answer
-5: incorrect answer
+5: make basket (can take away 5 points from another house or combination of houses)
-5: unsportsmanlike conduct
+50: complete skill within one minute
+50: first person to complete the skill (can take away 25 points off any house or combination
of houses)
+100:  House with the highest mean test score

Some examples of games we did with the minute to Win It round:
Marshmallow Stacking

Cheerios on a noodle

Cookie slide

Cookie slide

Marshmallow stacking
The competitive nature of the kids came out!  Overall, it went GREAT!  The kids have already asked me when we will play it again!

Happy Battle Ball!