Are you looking for an inexpensive, simple, and engaging way to encourage positive behavior in your classroom? No paper money to copy, cut, and keep track of! Just one sheet of colored paper per student.
Items for your Auction can be very inexpensive: use of the teacher’s rolling chair for a day, lunch in the classroom with a friend, high-polymer erasers, popcorn, etc.
Students earn imaginary money individually, in groups, or sometimes as a whole class. Students record their money on their own Staarbucks! sheet. On auction days, students can bid on the item up to how much money they currently have in their account. Super easy, super fun!
You can use STAAR Bucks or if you prefer, Classroom Cash.
Here are a few simple guidelines:
1. One important rule: Students cannot have their money taken away for negative behavior. The goal of STAAR Bucks! is to increase positive behavior through encouragement and reward. Negative behaviors should decrease as well, however, using this strategy as a punitive measure will significantly reduce its effectiveness.
2. Give out money frequently. Sometimes to individuals, sometimes to groups, sometimes to the entire class. For example, “Wow, I loved how another teacher entered the classroom and all groups were focused on their assignments. Each person gets $1.78 of STAARBUCKS!” or “I am really impressed how you two are working together and are so focused on your project. At the end of class, each give yourselves $2.98.”
3. Since I have a mathematical focus, I like to give out amounts such as $2.17 and $3.86 instead of just whole number amounts. It sneaks in some real world adding practice.
4. Have fun with the auctions! My students love to bid on the auction items. I usually start with $5 and jump up different amounts. Kids raise their hands if they have enough money and would like to bid on the item. Another teacher has kids shout out the amount kids want to spend and the cost gets progressively higher. Regardless of the method that works for you, it just takes a few minutes adds a lot of excitement for the entire class. Obviously, the highest bidder gets the item and I will sign their sheet (after they correctly subtract the purchase amount). It is an easy way for me to add a lot of fun to my classroom while encouraging and rewarding positive attitudes and behaviors.