Student making a purchase at the third grade farmers market During the annual third-grade farmers’ market recently, the plaza at the Hillsborough campus was lined with booths full of cupcakes, cookies, scones, iced tea and lemonade, chips and guacamole, popcorn, and sushi. Bright, colorful signs described what was being sold and students could be heard marketing their product and answering questions as community members purchased items.

“We do the farmers’ market every year because it is a great real-world, hands-on curriculum that allows us to integrate the teaching of skills with project-based learning,” third-grade teacher Katie Chapman said. “It’s an approach to education that encourages students to seek solutions to challenging and relevant problems, it promotes critical thinking, it allows teachers to act as facilitators, and it engages students in an authentic way while achieving goals. It is also a great way to bring together the Nueva community.”

At the market, students sold their delicious treats and snacks to fellow students, faculty and staff, and other community members. The third graders raised approximately $1,400 that they will donate to another school as seed money to start their own farmers’ market unit.

Students had to calculate the cost of supplies, were each given a $20 loan to buy ingredients, and prepared their items at home.

Third-grader Daniel R. decided to make chocolate chip cookies, and he was happy he did because he sold out!

“My favorite part was making the cookies,” he said. “When the market started it got chaotic. I learned selling things at a farmers’ market is harder than you think it is.”

While third-grader Zadie K. enjoyed the experience of selling meringues and bruschetta, upon reflection she said, “It’s hard to have a lot of customers at your stand and it’s hard to count a lot of money.”

To prepare for the cross-disciplinary project, students practiced a lot of skill-building throughout the year, Chapman said.

In math, students worked hard on multiplication, division, measurement, price-per-unit, scaling recipes, and profit and loss. During social studies and science, students learned about the life cycle of a plant — food sources, food sheds, and food chains. And in language arts, students learned how to use search tools to find online information, how to read information texts, and understanding key ideas and details.

As a guide, students tried to answer the questions “How does geography affect food culture?” “How does food culture affect our daily lives” and “How do ethics and beliefs affect food culture?”

Students also went on a field trip to the Civic Center Farmers’ Market to observe how farmers’ markets operate. They learned that “it’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell it,” “there are discounts for higher quantities,” and it’s important to be “neat and organized and make labels and prices visible.”

“This event is always a highlight of our year and is really such a great opportunity for the kids to showcase their learning and creativity,” the third-grade teachers said.

April 29, 2016



6565 Skyline Blvd.
Hillsborough, CA 94010





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San Mateo, CA 94403



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