Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer School - Day Four - International Shopping Spree

Turned my classroom into a shopping mall today.

I used my Excel worksheet background to create some store posters that randomly generate store names, items for sale, retail prices and discount percents. I modified the old version so every store was labelled with a different country and the items were priced in the currency of that country. I also included a randomly generated sales tax between 1% and 25%.

I gave my students $1000 Canadian to start with (play money of course) and let them loose in the mall to spend as much as they could without going over. They had to convert the retail prices in foreign currency into Canadian funds. Then they calculated discounts, sale prices, and taxes to determine the final price. Finally they determined the total cost for their International Shopping Spree.

The randomly generated amounts made for interesting shopping. Some students found a sports car for around 250 Thai baht at 89% off. That turns out to be about $7.50 CDN. Conversely, pencils were selling for 100's of dollars.

Overall it was an engaging, effective way for me to assess student learning at this point in the unit. It required them to combine the various topics we have discussed into a single combined activity. And it challenged them to verify that the answers they got were reasonable.

"$316.00 CDN for a pencil?!?! That can't be right!"

The link to store posters above seems to open the file in read only mode for some reason. I will try to find some way to correct this so anyone can edit the file if they want.


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