Going, going, gone

BLAIRSBURG – Tongue twisters, number scales and making cents are all in the curriculum for the Kindergarten students in Janelle Oakland’s Northeast Hamilton classroom.

Over the past year, the students have been learning money skills, said Oakland.

“They have been working on the standards of mastering counting money,” said Oakland. “We talk about coins on a daily basis.”

The students are taught how to recognize each coin not only by its size and weight but by its artwork. The penny is the only brown coin while the nickel is the only coin with a dome on the backside, said Oakland.

The dime has a torch on its flipside while the quarter has George Washington on the front and the American Eagle on the back.

“I stay away from the state quarters,” said Oakland because with 50 variations, it would be confusing for the young learners.”

Throughout the year, the student have had activities to help them learn the value of coins, but on May 23, a new activity was introduced an auction.

Each child received $1.04 in play money – two quarters, four dimes, two nickels and four pennies. Parents and staff donated toy items and Travis Schutt of Mid Iowa Auction Company of Iowa Falls served as auctioneer for the afternoon.

The bidding began at one cent and any child could bid on an item. The maximum bid was $1.04, so any duplicate bids were settled by a draw of a name.

“We had the items displayed on the counter all week and told them to pick out more than ten things they would want,” said Oakland, who was overwhelmed by the response of donors.

The original plan called for the students to be able to bid as much as they would like but only win one item. Throughout the year, Oakland has held book and art supply sales in order to raise funds to purchase items for the auction.

Donors were also asked to contribute and through their generous response, each child was able to vie for three bids, said Oakland.

Auctioneer Travis Schutt started bidding at one cent and many students quietly held their paddles high in an effort to win the bid. Stretching as far as their arms could reach during competing bids, a draw of a name settled who got the prize.

At the end of each round, the student was asked to show how much their bid was in coin value.

During a break in the bidding process, Schutt ran the students through some auctioneer exercises such as number scales and the tongue twister “The big brown bug bit a big brown bear” which was repeated numerous times to peels of laughter by the students.

Oakland declared the first Kindergarten auction a success as students departed for the day.

“They are doing really well in mastering their money skills,” she said.