Members of Harness the Stars Kids Opera Company spent all day Saturday selling the importance of their unique project to total strangers at the Gaithersburg Flea Market. Who are we? Why do we need funding? Why does our mission matter? I watched as my students approached all passersby, took the initiative and engaged them in conversation about the opera process and its mission. Their confidence, clarity of purpose and commitment to working together to get the job done was an inspiration for all who witnessed this collective energy in action. I stood back and watched. The kids took over. They raised $542 to replenish the company coffers. I am proud.
Counting back change is an essential skill with which many struggle. In the digital age, there is no great need to learn this basic skill when a computer screen can simply display the calculated change within seconds. What happens when the system fails? Having an authentic situation, like the flea market, where one must determine a customer’s change without technology, helps students understand the need to learn specific math skills. This experience provided many opportunities to apply the cognitive and social skills necessary to be successful in school, in work, in life.
Take a bow, bright stars, for you are indeed ready for the work world.