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A conference about what is sacred in education: 5Sigma Edu Con

There are a lot of options for professional development. Hundreds of conferences, workshops, MOOCS, edcamps, professional journals, blogs, the list seriously goes on and on. If you’re like me, your inbox and mailbox have a pretty consistent stream of offerings. I’m about to tell you about one more… The 5Sigma Education Conference holds a special place in my heart because it gives me the opportunity to invite you to come meet the incredible people I work with every day! I have to say, they are seriously SO amazing (only a little biased)! 5Sigma has a lot of incredible features, but our main focus is always that which is sacred in education: students with names. This is what else you can look forward to: A tour of Anastasis Academy, led by our students- this gives you an inside view of our unique model. Anastasis is the school I started 6 years ago. With the help of an incredible staff, we’ve created a place where: we begin with students, inquiry rules the learning process, learning is hands-on and experiential, we have a living curriculum, we use space as a ‘third teacher,’ we help our students excel by eliminating tests/grades/homework, we’ve transformed assessment, we customize the learning experience for every learner. We do all of this with the same per-pupil expenditure as the public schools in the area! This year our sessions and keynotes will be centered around student agency. We’ve found this to be the single greatest factor that impacts every other part of learning. When we support each student to recognize that they are unique in the course of history, we empower students to engage the world now. When we help students embrace their identity they also are ready for: freedom to direct their own learning, how they learn, and where they learn it; learning powered by questions through inquiry; exploration through thoughtful risk-taking and permissive learning; community and a healthy-school culture where students encourage each other in the learning journey, and inspire one another to be themselves; and meaningfully engaging larger issues like diversity because they are better equipped to recognize the strengths, humanity, passions and culture of others. A large part of our program is full-immersion learning. We take students on weekly learning excursions. At 5Sigma, we invite you to do the same. On Sunday, February 19th, the day is dedicated to learning in context through adult learning excursions. Last year we went to GrowHaus, an aquaponic farm in town followed by a brewery tour. Stay tuned for this year’s options! In short, this is a conference that will do more than inspire you, you will be empowered to launch in your own classrooms, schools and districts! If something above resonated with you, and you thought, “this is MY topic of passion,” you should definitely propose a session. Proposals are due November 15th! We hope that we will see you here in February!   P.S. If none of the above topics are of interest to you, but you really like to eat…you should come for lunch on Saturday alone. El Toro the Tot has the MOST incredible burgers and tots. Ask @yourkidsteacher it is worth the price of admission!

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Hot Shot Business

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 25-06-2010

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What it is: The Disney website has a lot of engaging and fun content for kids, unfortunately, not all of it is educational.  Hot Shot Business is one of the better Disney games I have seen for the classroom.  It teaches kids about business and entrepreneurship through a fun simulation game.  Students are introduced to the idea of entrepreneurship and franchising by their virtual business hosts, Kate and Jack.  Kate and Jack offer advice and recommendations throughout the game.  The decisions that students will make throughout the game will have consequences that extend beyond profits and losses alone.  They will have to deal with environmental factors, as well as finding ways to provide jobs for members of the community.    Students can choose to start a pet spa, a candy factory, a comic shop, custom skateboard shop, professional landscaping, or a magic shop.  Kids are sure to find a business that they are interested in!  The entire game is narrated which is great for all levels of readers.  As students play the game, they will be exposed to the nuts and bolts of running their own business, they will have to make decisions about how to respond to market trends, how to respond to customer preferences, how to respond to fast breaking news reports that may affect their business,  and how to respond to ethical dilemmas.  Students even have access to a Hot Shot Business kit where they can download and print out business cards and fliers.

How to integrate Hot Shot Business into the classroom: Hot Shot Business was designed to meet national standards in both language arts and math, making it fit easily into any curriculum.  The ideal setup for Hot Shot Business is a few days in the computer lab for a 1-to-1 setting where each student can work individually on setting up their own store.  Game play could extend for several days depending on the unit that you are teaching.  The Disney site has some excellent lesson plans and suggestions for implementation, I highly recommend them.  I like the idea of connecting with entrepreneurs in the community during this unit so that as students are working through the game, they can get advice and recommendations from those who do it every day.

If you can’t make it happen in a computer lab setting over several days, choose a business to start as a class and make decisions as a team.  You can do this using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer.  In this scenario, students will have to discuss their decisions and reason with each other to decide on a course of action.

Hot Shot Business is a really well designed game, it would be a great addition for the 3rd-6th grade classroom.  I suspect that it ties into several of the curricula already being used in schools, I know that Treasures (MacMillan McGraw Hill) has units that it fits nicely into.  This is great hands on learning, a definite step up from Lemonade Stand. 🙂

Tips: This is a really great site, but I must warn you that it eats up the bandwidth!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Hot Shot Business in your classroom.

Comments (5)

I actually use this with some of my 8th and 9th grade students. We all sit down and compete to see who can get the most money, the most points etc. It is a great simulation that allows students to have a small glimpse into what it takes to run a business. Following this assignment, we begin talking about buisness plans. They love this game.

This is a perfect compliment to our Inventions unit so the kids can learn the business side of inventing a product. It is always a plus when they can practice critical thinking skills in a real life situation.

After watching the TED talk about entrepreneurial kids, this game sounds to me to be an excellent suggestion.

There are so many applications for this game that students could take further; maths, art, English, etc.

I love the Hot Shot Business game, and accessed it just a couple of months ago, now it can’t seem to locate it on the Internet. Does anyone know what has happened to it?

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