Thursday, December 17, 2015

What Did YOU Learn Today?

One of the things we do at Community Business College is ask all of our students, “what did you learn today?”

It’s a good reinforcement tool and sometimes the answers to that question tell us a great deal about where a student is in the learning process and it caps off an end to the class with a quick learning review.

After completing a QuickBooks class module with the learning-challenged students from Modesto’s Mentor Network yesterday, we reviewed their Profit and Loss Statements. This is something new for the college and we did this class as a pilot project. As you'll see, it was a huge success!

In this QuickBooks class, the students got to choose their own stores, come up with the names and stock it with virtual products. They learned how to order stock, pay for it, sell it and make deposits.

For those not in the know, a Profit and Loss (also known as P&L) Statement is a tool for businesses to use to determine whether or not your business is profitable, how much of a profit has been made or if the business has incurred a loss.
Our Sample P&L Statement

Profit and Loss Statements are also commonly referred to as an income statement, statement of financial performance, revenue statement, earnings statement, or statement of operations. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “A report by any other name will still smell the same.” Whatever you decide to call it, the purpose of the report is to present the revenues recognized for a specific period, and the cost and expenses charged against these revenues, including write-offs (e.g., depreciation and amortization of various assets) and taxes.

So yesterday, they got to run their Profit and Loss Statements for the first time. Then they got to make them blue, modify the report and save the report. We did some more sales, went back and checked the Profit and Loss and saw the growth.

The class learned about the literal “bottom line” on the report tells them how well their company is doing and the real meaning behind the term “Black Friday” (the day when traditionally, companies that are “in the red” see their profits move back “in the black.”)

Then we got to run the sales graph which is QuickBooks’ very colorful illustration of the results of the sales of a company.
That got a lot of oohs and aahs.

At the end of the class, we asked, “so, what did you learn today,” and almost unanimously came the replies about making profit. Of all the QuickBooks activities they did that day, seeing the graphic results of the work in their stores is what they remembered most.

And they had fun learning, too.

All of the students and the aides worked really hard to get to this point. QuickBooks makes things easier but it still takes patience to make work correctly. And these students did it. It warms our hearts to see them enjoy learning so much and it reminds all of us how lucky we are to have the gifts we have.

So here’s the question of the day: “What did you learn today?”

Can you help us keep this program going? We set up a GoFundMe campaign to try to offer this program to those who have special needs. Check out the details here at

Learn to master QuickBooks in one of the campus-based or online classes Community Business  College offers. Then when you’re done, pass the Intuit Certification Exam and receive an official QuickBooks certificate

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Break Times = Good Times

Community Business College has always incorporated 50-minute clock hours for classes. That means each hour a student is here on campus in class, there is a 10-minute break every hour.

Ten minutes provides time to move between classes, but it also provides time to reset your mind. Many a student has told us how they were wracking their brains to get solution to the problem they’re working on, and it wasn’t until they got up, walked around and thought of something else that the answer came to them.

There was even an article out this week about the need to get up and move after you’ve been sitting at a computer for a long time, and get enough sleep each night. According to the study, taking quick walking breaks can extend your life.

And yet…
We have noticed more students hear the words “it’s break time” and instead whip out their smart phones. This happens even when the computer they are sitting at is fully Internet enabled. It’s the smart phone where all the personalized settings are, of course.

When Community Business College provides advanced classes to professionals, the smart phone phenomenon  seems to be more pervasive than people who are take our classes for the unemployed.

What’s Lost

Although checking in with your phone gains you a few updates of what’s happening in the world, or on Facebook, it takes away the physical benefit of just moving around.
Sometimes, a student will find the smart phone so distracting, he or she will forget to use the restroom during break time.

But not only do we lose out on a little exercise when we stay seated at our desks for a long period of time, but we also miss the social interaction that comes with, in this case, taking a class and learning together.

Maybe the answer is setting our smartphones to remind us to take a break every now and then.

Learn other stress management techniques in the Stress Management class Community Business  College offers.

Happy Valentine's Day 2019

Our students are the best! Thanks for the chocolates and thanks for sharing with the class! We really do have the Best Teachers Ever!