Welcome, parents, to the Fourth Grade Market Day to be held in the cafeteria on December 13. While Mesdames DeWolfe and Koenen will allow some classroom preparation, this is largely an out-of-school project.
Here’s a brief podcast I did regarding what to expect at this year’s Market Day.
What parents need to do next:
- Find the personalized “4th Grade Market Day [online] in-school field trip permission slip” email I sent to you,
- At the bottom of the email, go to the link and complete the permission slip online.
- Listen to the podcast. Read this blog post. Watch the videos. Have no fear.
We’ll need parent helpers for two shifts beginning around:
- 12:30 pm for setup (wipe down tables, sweep, remove trash, move tables into rows; arrange waste containers), and
- 2:45 pm for breakdown (wipe down and store tables, sweep, remove trash; other tasks as assigned by custodians).
- Room Moms will be working with me to coordinate the shifts.
Individual business ownership is encouraged, but your kiddo may work with a business partner from either class. So, to be clear: s/he can run the operation solo or have 1 partner.
- Parents can work side-by-side with their students during Market Day.
If your students wish to use an electrical outlet during Market Day, it’s okay provided an adult is in their booth with them throughout the event. Electricity is not to be used for signage or other advertising, but, as most have requested, for heating foodstuffs.
This project is about entrepreneurship. Therefore, your child keeps any money they make selling their wares or services. In the spirit of the season, they are also encouraged to donate a portion of their profits to a charity.
Now some basics on the four P’s of Marketing:
- Product (or Service). It should appeal to kindergarten through middle school, staff, and parents (around 500 shoppers will tour the market). Don’t overstock: the market will be open for only 90+ minutes. Products can be handmade, store-bought, baked, or recycled. Previous marketeers have offered brownies, cookies, candy, cupcakes, beads, bracelets, rings, hair ties, drawings, toys, postcards, outgrown stuffed animals, trading cards, leather goods,
8 ounce cans of pop, and digital photos. They have painted fingernails and faces, sprayed, beaded and braided hair, given massages, and told fortunes.
- Pricing. This is tricky: a price high enough to make it worth their while, but low enough to keep their merchandise moving. Individual shoppers may have only a buck or two to spend during all of market day. One dollar for any item is almost certainly too high. 50 cents is pushing it, but allows a merchant to lower prices if necessary. At a quarter an item they’ll have steady traffic. Some kind hearts sell at discounted prices to the wee ones in kindergarten through first or second grades.
- Place. Biz owners will use cafeteria tables to sell their products and services. Hopefully the setup will allow foot traffic around the ends of tables (i.e., no one will be located down a one way, dead end street). They’ll also need to remember to bring change and a drawer or pouch to store their moolah.
- Promotion. Signage is important. It tells the world what they’re offering. It will be displayed in front of their “booth.” They have been working on advertising copy during workshop and I’ve discovered a common mistake: their text is either too small or too busy. Keep it simple: BIG BOLD LETTERING of the product or service and the price. Business names and elaborate artwork will be lost on the loud, crushing mob of shoppers.
- Images will be posted to my Flickr account during and after Market Day. Please check back.
- The videos below are from 2011 and 2012, respectively, and provide a glimpse of the good craziness of Market Day (the 2011 group of fourth graders sold at a rate of approximately $10 a minute, grossing over $900!).