The fourth-grade hallway at the New Albany 2-5 building was transformed into a bustling shopping mall last week.

The fourth-grade hallway at the New Albany 2-5 building was transformed into a bustling shopping mall last week.

Members of the 14 fourth-grade classes set up shop to sell products and services they had created themselves, including stress balls, flubber, chocolate-covered marshmallows, pillows and tie-dyed socks.

The products were produced, marketed and sold as part of the school's annual Entrepreneur Day -- the culmination of the fourth-grade economics curriculum.

All New Albany 2-5 students were encouraged to purchase the fourth-graders' goods as part of a fundraiser that accompanies Entrepreneur Day.

Teacher Tim Bush said students learn about supply and demand, consumers, producers and scarcity though real-life applications.

Students start working on their products about a month ahead of the market day and are required to keep track of all production, marketing and labor costs.

"They bring the receipts in, and we figure out how many they make," Bush said. "We figure out exactly how much it costs to make per unit. What do they have to charge to make a profit?"

He said students also pay "rent" -- $1 to use a classroom desk -- and capital charges if they use tools or appliances.

Bush said Entrepreneur Day, a tradition for the past 10 years, usually raises $5,000 to $7,000 for student-selected charities.

This year, students voted to support the Deaf Initiative, in support of a deaf fourth-grader; the Williams Syndrome Association, in support of another fourth-grader who has the genetic condition that causes developmental problems; and the Kevin J. Mullin Memorial Fund for Brain Tumor Research, in memory of Ian McCollister, who died when the current fourth-graders were in first grade together.

Bush said a portion of the proceeds also helps fund the New Albany wetlands and the IMPACT scholarship fund.

Shannon Hemmelgarn helped her 24 students learn all of the aspects of creating a successful business. She said some of her students began to realize that the little things -- even desk placement within the classroom -- could make a difference on the bottom line.

"On the first day of school, this is the first question: 'When is Entrepreneur Day?'" Hemmelgarn said.

Abe Godinez, whose daughter, Chloe, is in Hemmelgarn's class, said he attended last Thursday's event to support his daughter and to purchase some of the homemade goods for charity.

Chloe made the flubber, which she sold for $1 each. It cost her 65 cents to create each pack of flubber, and she paid her mother 50 cents an hour for labor.

"It goes to show her the value of the dollar," Godinez said. "I think it's important to support our kids and show them they have the same opportunities as everyone else does."

Kyle Simon, 9, produced chocolate-covered marshmallows, which he sold for 25 cents each but only cost 6 cents each to make. He paid his mother 50 cents per hour for her labor. He said he was inspired to make his product after seeing last year's fourth-grade products.

"There were a lot of chocolate-covered things last year," he said.

To increase demand for his product, Simon said, he would lower the price to 10 cents if he had too many candies left over in late morning. The shops were scheduled to close at noon.

Bush said students think about Entrepreneur Day years before they enter fourth grade because they get to participate each year.

"They come to it when they are in second and third grade, and when they are in fourth grade, they are ready for it," he said.

He said some older students remember their products from five and six years ago.

"I tell my students that this is a day you will remember for the rest of your school career," he said.