August 1, 2015

Blog Hop!! Welcome Back to School~ Creating a Classroom Economy

Back to School
Starting a Classroom Economy

My classroom economy is one of the most important components of my classroom.  It is connected to my behavior system, homework, and classroom procedures.  It also teaches my students many economic concepts throughout the year. 
     Economics:  Incentives, budget, cost, supply, demand, banking, wants, saving, spending, savings goal, banking, income, specialist/human resource, decision making, choice, opportunity cost

Click here to view my Economics Word Wall Words (Freebie for the Week)

                     What currency should you use? 
My entire school uses the same currency.  Our mascot is the Stars, so we have “Star Bucks.”  If your school doesn’t have a school wide currency then your students can help in designing it.  It’s easier to have different amounts of money.  We have a $1, $5, $10 and $20. 
A fun way to introduce different currencies is to look at money from around the world.  I have a collection of different coins and paper money.  My students love looking at the different symbols and pictures on it and comparing it to our currency.  You can also integrate a geography lesson by having students locate where the country is located on the map that the money came from. 

Integrating lessons are great ways to teach more skills in a meaningful way!! Students see the relevance of the concept when it’s integrated into a lesson!

             How do I decide what to pay my students for? 
This is entirely up to you.  You can pay students for doing their class jobs.  Class jobs are a great way to create a community in your classroom.  Students take ownership and it becomes their classroom! 
 Click here to check out my Classroom Jobs Packet

I also pay for getting agenda’s signed, homework returned, and 100% on tests.  I also will pay when I catch someone doing what’s right. 
                    Life Lesson:  Work Hard!
My students never know when they might get a bonus for going above and beyond.   

                 Do you fine or Debit your students?
Yes, if my students forget their homework or are not following directions they pay me.  I have a list of classroom fines.  This helps my students know my expectations for their behavior and work ethic. 

Banking System
Once students start acquiring your class currency, they will start to see a need for a class banking system.  Students will start losing their money or other students will start finding money.  This teaches students what the need is for a banking system.  I use this wonderful website that is free for teachers.
At first I’m the banker, then I train a student to take over the job.  After students start putting their money in the bank they will then discover a need to pull money out of the bank whenever it’s not open for business.  I get check registers from a local bank every year, to teach my students how to record and balance their checkbooks.
     Life Lesson:  I love teaching my students that just because you have a checkbook doesn’t necessarily mean you have money it in!  I want my students to understand what they are asking when they say to their parents, “Just write a check for it!”

I have created Debit Cards that can be used in our class.  Students take out $25 in a debit card and then I can punch the currency as they spend it.  This helps when students want to rent recess equipment and I don’t have time to log on and take it out of their bank accounts. 

          What can students buy with their school currency?
My students can rent recess equipment, buy items from the class store, and purchase items at the class auctions.  I’m working on having a once a month incentive day where students can purchase special events like playing a kickball game against teachers or a lemonade day where students can purchase lemonade at recess.  In the early grades students pay their “STAR BUCKS” for things like read to the class, work with your shoes off (STINKY Feet), eat lunch with a friend, or swap seats for a day.  IIt depends on what your kids like.  Fifth graders won’t usually pay to read a book to the class! 

A classroom economy is a great way to start teaching your students important real world concepts.  These lessons will prepare your students to be productive global citizens that can budget their money!

 Please continue to Hop to the next Blog!!! Click Here to continue the Blog Hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love these ideas! The classroom economy is a wonderful way to teach students responsibility and accountability. I use a classroom economy during our engineering and bridge design unit. They have to use the money they earn to buy supplies for their bridge. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love this idea! What a great way to incorporate the economics standards and make it real for kids. Thanks!

    The Craft of Teaching

  3. I do a similar economy in my class with "Danley Dollars". The kids love it and it really teaches them the skill of saving money. I've never done a debit card and think it is a GREAT idea!
    Literacy Loves Company

  4. Love your classroom economy ideas. I have been thinking about adding some classroom jobs to my classroom this year, and I love your job ideas!

  5. Love this idea!! (And, on a separate note, I love that your blog invites viewers to like your FB page! So smart.))