Last week was Market Day at Little A's school. The students had spent several weeks of their arts and crafts time making things to sell - bookmarks, paperweights, rain sticks and trinket boxes. The culmination was to be a shopping day when parents were invited to purchase the merchandise.
Each child had a specific task - showing customers the product catalogue (we would remove a photo of the item/s we wanted and place it/them on a strip, or a virtual shopping basket), finding the correct items (think Jeff Bezos's Amazon warehouse on a minuscule scale, manned entirely by special needs staff), ringing up the sales (with the aid of a calculator), making change (using a fantastic maths chart) and bagging the purchases for delivery (via child-size shopping trolley) to the customers who waited across the room.
One mother described it perfectly when she said it was just like "shopping from an Argos catalogue." We were all delighted to see our children performing "real", functional tasks.
Little A was a bagger. I was amazed at how long he sat still, waiting for items to put in the brown paper sacks. Some of the items were a bit bulky and heavy, resulting in tears to the brown paper, but all ended well.
I know other schools have regular market days, when parents buy or bake and children sell the items for profit, without all the Argos-catalogue assistance. But given the challenges facing Little A and his peers, this was a special achievement for them, one they will now conduct yearly, and have every right to think of with pride.