On the first day of school, I start my math block by explaining that in this class, things will run sort of like how they do in the real world. We will be conducting a classroom economy. What that means is that everything you do in class will either earn you classroom money or cost you classroom money.
This is where the kids usually start to look at each other and squirm around in excitement.
I then hand out the check register to the students, which is attached to a postcard with all of the classroom fines, expenses, and earnings.
Again, kids look at each other...but usually there is cheering at this point.
I then show them how to enter this into the register. Since this is a credit into their "bank", they add it to their total. They now have $1. Click here to grab the check register page.
It is here where I pull out the wallets. I tell them that they MUST have a wallet in class. We can't have money just hanging around willy-nilly in their pencil boxes. But wallets don't come for free. They happen to cost $1. So I hand the kids the wallets while they hand me $1. We then record the debit into the register. Their balance is now $0.
I like to use the Lakeshore pencil cases as wallets because the kids can then decorate them. If you want, a plain old white envelope will do. I also like the recipe holders from the Target Dollar Spot.
That just about does it for the first day. The kids get pumped about it and learn a bit of the vocabulary they will be using as the year goes on. They also have learned how to balance and keep up with their check register.
OK...that is enough for now. I will be back tomorrow to tell you about Day Two of introducing the economy. What questions do you have for me now that I can try and answer in my next post?