Classroom Economy: Day Two

Yesterday, I posted about how I begin the Classroom Economy on the first day of school (or whatever first day you wish to do it on really.)  Today, I am going to tell you what I do on the second day.  :)


Day Two:

Now that the kids have a little bit of experience with the whole credit/debit thing, the first thing we do in the morning is hand out money to those who are in class on time.  Before I do this, I show them in my register (the same as the kids'....I just put mine on the ELMO for everyone to see) how to record the new dollar that was just handed out.  Then the kids do the same.

On this day of class, we focus on "Earnings".  You see, I want the students to earn lots and lots of money.  That way, they can "pay" for the things they need (and want) later on.  If they have a big bank roll, it makes life a lot easier for them in class (hey, that's the same in life isn't it??)
Click here to access this file (and a few others with it)

So we talk about the different ways to earn money.  Some of them are cut and dry.

Come to school on time.  Earn $1.
Wear a uniform.  Earn $1.
Do your classroom job.  Earn your salary.  (read about jobs here.  I don't give out jobs just yet.)

But some aren't so easy.  Caught being good is one of those instances where it isn't quite as black and white.  So we talk about ways that they can be caught being good.  We make a circle map, that then stays up in the room.  These are just different things that kids can do to show good character, help out a classmate, or generally be a nice human being.

I let them know up front that I don't *always* hand out cash if they are doing the things on the circle map, but that if I see them doing those things, I just *might*, so it is a good idea.  (eventually, they learn through the course of the year, that they are good ideas anyway, despite the cash....which is really my goal in it all, to develop good citizens)

I then spend the rest of the day, "catching them being good."  I make it a point to say loudly, "Thank you Addison for following the classroom rules.   You earned $2!"  or, "I love how you lent Nico a pencil when he didn't have one, Cameron.  You earned $3."  The kids LOVE this, and it helps them try to do those things too.

Periodically, I stop the class and give a whole class "caught being good" for everyone being on task.   That is a HUGE motivator!  I then remind them, again, how to input that into their registers and make sure their totals match the cash in hand.

I try my hardest not to fine anyone in the first few days.  I mean, we haven't really learned about it, and I want them to really feel good about earning money and the whole classroom economy.  If I started out just taking money away, we would have kids in debt on the first day of school.  That really isn't a great way to start out the year! 

So that is pretty much day two.  Day three, we talk about fines and expenses.  So I will write about that tomorrow.  Until then, what questions do you have for me now?

19 comments

  1. I am really enjoying these posts...I'm thinking about implementing this second semester.

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  2. Thank you so much for writing about this. I had emailed you about being my first year teaching and wanting to implement the economy. You're answering all of my questions and even some I didn't realize I should have asked you. Thanks again!

    Whitney Riley

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  3. LOVE the idea of a classroom economy. But I am wondering how you keep track of "paying" the students. I am afraid I will be forgetful. Do you keep a personal spreadsheet?

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    1. I do not, no. I want this to be more on them than on me, so I give the students the responsibility of keeping track of everything. They really do a good job, honestly.

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing this! My teaching partner and I are planning to try an economy this year. I appreciate all your downloads and info! We are going to use an online piggy bank instead of paper money. We will see how that goes. I hope to train a parent on Fridays to enter in the credits/debits. We will have the leaders of each group turn in the account sheets on Fridays to us. Looking forward to hearing more! Thanks for being my favorite blogger! :-)

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  5. Do you hand out the money right away? Do they stop what they are doing to update their register, or do they do it at a free moment?

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    1. agreed with these questions

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    2. I do hand out money right away. Usually I say, "Tom, you were doing so well, go get $1 from the bank." They walk up, get it, and write it in the register. This takes no more than 2 minutes. Sometimes, if we as a class are really in the middle of something, I tell them to wait until a specific time to go get the money. They NEVER forget (even if I do).

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  6. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I just went out today and bought money pouches for the kids, receipt books to track purchases, notebooks for table captains, bankers, etc. to track the data. I can't wait to put it all together! THANK YOU!!!!!

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  7. You can get free registers at your bank (usually.) I know TD Bank will give you supplies. Do you make the register part of your math time? How do you work it in? Do you ever check their registers? I used to run class businesses, and I would have students apply and interview for jobs. Do you do that or just rotate kids through them?

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    1. The registers come out any time they get money. So not just during math. But the first few weeks, we do pull them out during the math block to check and recheck them. I do spot checks on the registers throughout the year. As for the jobs, the kids apply monthly and are changed monthly. (I wrote about that in a previous post....I will get a link in a sec.)

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  8. Around how much money do you start with at the beginning of the year? Do you use ones, fives, tens, and allow them to trade in for bigger bills?

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    1. Each child earns $1 for coming to school on time that first day of class. Then, they start earning money by being on task. The first week or so of school, I am giving out money like it is on fire :)

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  9. Thank you so much for posting such wonderful ideas! I have several new things I am trying this year thanks to you. I have always been afraid to try the classroom economy thinking it would be too much, but the way you run it puts all responsibility on the kids. They are going to love it!

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  10. Great post! How do you manage all the money? Do you hand it out as you're teaching? Do you find it to be disruptive?

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  11. Do you think the "money" you use should look real? or is it ok to have something like "decision dollars" etc? We have Sunny Money at my school but that is through our dean.

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  12. Do you have any experience of using this with younger children? I am hoping to use it with 6/7 year olds this year and think that the recording might be a bit too much for them, but appreciate the valuable role the recording plays. Do you have any suggestions?

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  13. How do you keep up with the fines? I have 30 kids, if I have to pay them and collect, I don't think I will remember everything. If students keep up with it, say the banker or someone, how do they keep track? Do they pay up weekly or daily?
    Thanks!!

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  14. Thank you so much for the clear directions. I want to start this next year but as a new grad I have not seen this idea in action, merely heard about it.

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