Visit from Entrepreneur Adds to Innovative Experience
Reading, writing, economics, and fitness all came together in Mrs. Kim Malmad and Mrs. Jill Grano’s fourth grade classes at Moreland Hills Elementary School centered around a specific device...the MOVband.
Students in one of the reading groups read an article in The Plain Dealer newspaper about a local company that makes and sells MOVbands, a device that converges the latest accelerometer technology into a stylish and comfortable “band” that tracks not only the wearer’s daily steps like a standard pedometer, but also any physical movements made. According to its web site, it was “designed by a teacher, fitness instructor and mother of three to make exercise meaningful and offers wearers of all ages an exciting and easy way to track their movement.”
The students discussed the article and decided to write the owner and founder, Blake Squires. They shared their thoughts on the invention, asked him questions, and inquired about obtaining the bands. Squires e-mailed Mrs. Malmad expressing his gratitude over the letters and the students' enthusiasm. He shared that he would be happy to come speak to the students.
“Since Economics is the last unit in Social Studies, I thought it was fitting that he come at this time to discuss entrepreneurship,” stated Mrs. Malmad. “Fourth graders are required (by state standards) to know how entrepreneurs organize resources to produce goods and seek to make profits by taking risks. Fourth graders also need to be able to use a variety of writing styles to meet an intended purpose, so the letter-writing fit in with this objective.”
Squires, who has founded several companies over the years, shared with students a step-by-step process that an entrepreneur needs to go through in order to create a product or service and the means to produce it. He also shared how the MOVbands work, the importance of fitness, and how the class can use the steps/movements that add up on the bands as an incentive to exercise. He answered their questions and dialogued with students throughout the presentation and was impressed with what he heard. He concluded his presentation by giving out bands to every student.
“I did not know he was going to bring MOVbands for everyone,” stated Mrs. Malmad, “The kids have been so excited since receiving them and tell me every morning how many steps/moves they have taken.”
The students are off to a good start. They wore the bands during Unity Games, an end of year celebration that brings students together for day of outdoor activities. They all racked up thousands of steps/moves including two students with more than 11,000 steps/moves each solely from Unity Games!
With Mrs. Malmad and Mrs. Grano’s students leading the way and making a difference in their lives, Squires hopes to continue working with MHS by eventually getting the whole school involved with this program. The enthusiasm the students have shown has echoed among their families and has received positive feedback from parents.
“Thank you for encouraging the kids to write letters and get involved in things they are reading and seeing,” stated Deb Singer, parent of two students, who wrote the teachers. “That is a huge lesson in and of itself to show them that when you ASK, things can get done. They came home very excited and immediately charged their MOVbands.”
This economic, reading, writing, fitness experience is a great example of the innovative, authentic learning opportunities children are engaged in at Orange Schools!