As part of our learning engagements for one of our units of inquiry, Grade 3A students went on a field trip to Ranch Market in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta. Each student brought a shopping list, a reusable shopping bag and money – maximum of Rp. 100, 000. The field trip aimed to teach the students how to value money, know the production and distribution processes of goods and services, and to find out the different sections in the modern market, which were connected to our central idea, “Marketplaces rely on the production and distribution of goods and services” in our unit of inquiry under how we organize ourselves.
Prior to their field trip, the students were divided into four groups. There were five or six students in each group. A supervisor was assigned to look after each group – a class mom was one of them.
When the students arrived at the area, they could not contain their excitement. They could not wait to shop, but their excitement was put on hold because they were first taken round to the different sections: the fruit section, the vegetable section, the meat section, the fish section and the dry goods section. While listening to the tour guide, we overheard them asking about the time for shopping. We just laughed because the students could not wait any longer.
As the tour ended, the students were asked what they wanted to do next. All of them replied in unison, ‘Shopping!’ Since they were too excited, we jokingly said that it was time to go home. All of the students said ‘No!’ and looked gloomy, but to bring back their excitement, they were told that they were right – It was time for shopping! They were ecstatic and readied their shopping list, money and shopping bag. They were told to stick with their groups and to their assigned supervisors. They enthusiastically searched and picked the items included on their shopping lists.
Most of the students made sure that their chosen items did not exceed the amount of money that they had. However, there were few of them who did exceed and the cashiers told them to put back the items that they did not want so much. The students made sure that they calculated the prices of their chosen items before heading to the counters to pay.
After all of the students were done shopping and paying, we had time to take photos. Then, we headed back to school with them beaming with happiness after their recent experiences. When we arrived in school, they wrote their reflection about their trip with these guiding questions: Where did you go and what was the objective of today’s field trip? How much money were you given by your parents? Check the receipt that you received from the store. Make a list of things that you bought and write down the prices. How much change did you receive? Did you have any problems while shopping? If so, how did you solve them? What did you learn from your shopping trip? Write/draw your memorable part of your trip.
Most of them said they wished that they could go back to the supermarket and shop again with their friends not with their parents as they “want to be independent and have freedom in buying what they need and want”.
A few said that they were confused on where to locate the specific items they needed since the market was huge and wide. Others learned that the products or goods on their shopping list were not available all the time and had to be quick to think of the replacements, which could be other brands or items.
It was indeed a wonderful experience for the students. Most of them were able to find out that the goods and services at the supermarket are divided into different sections so it is easy for shoppers to locate and find what they want. The students also realized the importance of choosing the fresh produce and the best quality products and most of all, check the expiration date to make sure the goods are still alright to be consumed. Likewise, they learned that as early as possible, they have to start saving money instead of spending it on unnecessary stuff or their wants.
The students also pointed out that they now value money and emphasized that they should only buy what they need. They know now that they should not spend beyond their means so they do not end up starving the next day.
As teachers, it was wonderful to see our students learning how to be independent and experience first-hand how grown-ups shop and budget their money. It was also wonderful to see students learning how to queue, wait for their turn and realize that they need to make sure that the things they have chosen do not exceed the money that they have.
It is indeed remarkable to teach students at a very young age how to value money – to check their budget, lessen their expenses, and that to earn money entails hard work.
By: Mr. Freitz Gerald Talavera and Ms. Martha Carolina
Grade 3 Teachers
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, Jakarta