My Classroom Economy started in my first Grade 1 classroom, when I taught money. How do you authentically teach money to kids who don't have the chance to use it? Let them use it!
Very few materials are needed to get this program up and running quickly in your classroom, and it doesn't need to take hours of cutting and laminating. It started out as a very time-consuming, labour-intensive game, but I have now had the opportunity to simplify it, test it out on a wider range of students, from Kindergarten to Grade 5, and have come up with a program that is 99% run by students so I can focus on teaching.
Table of Contents:
Set-up & Materials
Class Jobs & Job Postings
Job Application Worksheet (Grade 3-6)
Job Application Worksheet (Grade 1-3)
Rewards and Special Occasions
Lesson to Introduce Classroom Economy
How Much Money Do I Use?
Printable Money Template – large
Printable Money Template - small
This is how one of my students explained our “Classroom Economy” to parents in a newsletter:
“Our classmates do jobs and get paid so they can get surprises like pyjama day. And we do it every day. We do it so that when we’re older we know how to count money and when we’re older we know how to do jobs.” – Grade 2 Student
What else did my students learn from our classroom economy?
Names and values of coins
Counting by 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s
Working hard pays off
Not working means less money for fun rewards
Delayed gratification pays off
Saving vs. Spending
Not everyone makes the same amount of money in real life
You have to save enough money to pay for your expenses before spending for rewards
What other benefits did I see?
- Easy classroom management that is led by students
- Kids looking out for other kids (A student put another student’s shoes away so he wouldn’t be fined.)
- Students made connections to real life (Ex. What happens when you can’t pay rent?)
I hope it works as well in your own classroom as it has for me.
Thanks for visiting!