Teach the ideas of economics by using this classroom economy start-up kit. Using the time-sheet, students can keep track of their credits and debits by calculating their student salary, classroom job salary, rent, fees, and any other forms of credits/debits you choose to use in your classroom. Also included is a set of blank checks. This sheet gives students an opportunity to practice this essential skill by filling in information from their time sheets onto a blank check. These ideas can be incorporated into your social studies unit of economics, or can be used as a form of classroom management.
In my classroom, I pass out a time sheet every 2 weeks. A student salary and rent is announced at the beginning of the pay period (these vary through the year, just as adult salaries and rent can change). Students are given additional credits for positive behavior, superb effort on homework, and exceptional grades on tests or quizzes. Additional debits are given for missing assignments, forgetting to put their names on homework, and poor behaviors. At the end of the pay period, we have a "Pay Day". I assign students the jobs of: check writers (write the checks), bankers (distribute classroom cash), police offers (collect fees), and landlords (collects rent). Students turn in their time sheets, receive a check, visit their banker, and pay their rent/fees before they happily walk away with a few extra dollars for their hard work.
Students then use the generated income for classroom rewards, or classroom auctions at the end of the month.
This system has proven to be a great addition to my classroom management. Students love earning "money" and these forms can be a great addition to your class economy or classroom management systems. Using classroom money, students learn the value of a dollar, and will practice basic math skills, the principles of saving money, check writing, and will learn the essentials of economics in a fun, hands-on way!
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