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Students learn a valuable lesson




Lincoln Elementary School Principal Elaine Rohleder came to Friday's market day ready to shop.

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Lincoln Elementary School Principal Elaine Rohleder came to Friday's market day ready to shop.

Rohleder brought her coin purse, and students were counting the dimes and pennies for purchases to boost the learning.

To be fair, Rohleder planned to make the rounds of "shops," purchasing from each.

Not a tatoo fan -- even the temporary kind -- she hadn't planned to visit that "shop," but she couldn't leave M & R's Tattoo Shack off the list.

Rohleder went with a small tattoo, predicted to last up to four days, inside her wrist.

The two-hour market in the library hosted by Amanda Callahan's fourth-grade class was a learning experience for all.

The project had "super parental involvement," Rohleder said. "It's great hands-on learning."

The 23 students in Callahan's class developed a plan of action to sell a product or a service to other students in the school.

Besides temporary tattoos, goods and services ranged from candy canes, ornaments, fingernail painting, popcorn and key chains.

Callahan first learned about the project while teaching at a Nebraska school.

Some students like Abigail Thornton and her friend, McKinley Wamser, worked on the project together.

Their root beer floats selling for 75 cents were popular.

They were "learning how to deal with money and what it feels like to have a store," Abigail said.

Trenton Werth collaborated with his dad, Jason Werth, to make and sell bracelets. Within an hour, they had sold approximately 20 of the 26 handmade bracelets.

Colton Pfannenstiel sold small bags of reindeer food. With help from his mom, Jill Pfannenstiel, he made the "food" with quick oats, and white, green and red sugar.

The bags were a popular choice among the shoppers.

Prices for the items were set at $1 or less. Students could adjust their prices during breaks based on supply and demand after discussing it with the supervising adult.

Jason Werth said the project gives the students a good start at learning a little about how the system works.

"It's a neat project centered about economics, but also includes math and reading," Callahan said.

The students advertised their products ahead of time to create "buzz about what to buy," she said.

It was also a learning experience for the students shopping.

Kindergarten teacher Heidi Wamser said she told her students "they needed to shop, and not buy the first thing they saw."

Students were asked to bring money from home, and they discussed how not all students would have the same amount of money to spend.

Teachers made sure each child had some money.

Each class had 15 minutes to shop.

After making their purchases, many enjoyed the goodies -- candy canes and root beer floats -- before going back to class.

The event raised $386.89, which will be donated to the Community Assistance Center.