On of the students in my class this year is very lucky to have a neighbour who does lots of schema building with him She shared this experience with me the other day and -- with her permission (and a few edits to protect privacy) -- I am reprinting it here:
...Nilloah finally experienced real shopping.
At first, it was painful for him to realize that I wasn't kidding when I told him that he was going to spend some of HIS saved money on this grocery shopping trip. We focused on wholesome food, rich in vitamins, nutrients and fibre. (I noticed that Nilloah suffers of constipation quite frequently. Hence the focus on fibre) We were also paying attention to what was on special.
He cheered up when he found out that a beautiful big English cucumber cost only $0.77. I thought it was very thoughtful and generous of him to buy some green tea for his Dad as a gift. It was his own idea.
We set the budget at a maximum of $20.00. (He brought his whole piggy bank plus his red Chinese New Year envelope that I gave him, with some paper bills in it. I already know what to get him as his next present. A wallet. Or better yet, a man purse.)
We came equipped with a clipboard, a pencil on a string and paper. No calculator.
I had him copy the names of items and prices that were posted on the shelves or above the produce and then to round the prices to the nearest dollar, so we could easily monitor whether we are under or over the set budget. Some fruits required to be weighed, but we did not bother to try and figure out the exact price for 1 apple or for 1 banana. I gave him my rough estimate.
Weighing produce and calculating the price will be part of our next shopping lesson when we get more involved in multiplication. But we did calculate a price of 1 kiwi. The kiwi was being sold at 3 for $0.99. He had no clue which mathematical operation to apply. I suggested to draw the coins using dimes and pennies.
With a lot of trial and error, writing out what we know and what we're looking for, Nilloah finally came up with the right answer.
I was pleased to see that No Frills is still accepting pennies from customers. The cashier was surprised to see Nilloah paying over $10.00 of the total in coins. I explained that it was his first real shopping trip. She was very patient with us.
Nilloah desperately wanted to squeeze a Kinder egg in his budget but I insisted that this shopping trip was all about healthy food. In the end, I gave in and bought him the Kinder egg as a reward for being a good sport.
When we got home, we checked item per item against the receipt. He was surprised to see how inexpensive bananas are. One banana cost him only $0.27 compared to one Royal Gala apple for $0.52.
I explained that some of the fruit is not ready to eat yet. That fruits like mangos and bananas need to be left out on the counter to fully ripen. I also told him that whole wheat English muffins will taste better when they are toasted.
The whole exercise took us 1.5 hours. The purpose of this exercise was to use his math skills in the practical, real life situation and to gain appreciation of the value of money and good nutrition. I hope that you will be seeing some of this healthy food in his lunches for the next few days.
As I'm sure you can imagine, this neighbour has the patience of a saint!
When I greeted Niloah in class the next morning with, "hey, so I hear you went shopping!", he almost fainted. It was like magic! "HOW did you know that, Ms. Teschow?!" he exclaimed!
A little email is a miraculous thing.