Friday, March 30, 2012

Classroom Economy

Students in my class learn about economics, budgeting, and responsibility through a hands on Classroom Economy.  Since the beginning of the year, students have been earning money to spend in our class store.  I hold class stores at the end of each 9 weeks.   I received many donations from my principal, purchased a few things at the dollar store, and created passes for desirable opportunities.  On shopping day, I auction off the most valued items to the highest bidder (this also flushes out a lot of their money, rather than just having set prices).  I then call a few students up at a time to shop the remaining items at set price (students who are being the most responsible get to shop first!)

Students apply for classroom jobs each quarter.  I tried to create jobs around real-world job options to make the experience as authentic as possible.  The jobs earn varying salaries depending on difficulty and frequency/amount of time "on the job." 

The picture below gives more detail on how the classroom economy works in my classroom.  This is posted in the room for students to reference.  Notice that they have to pay bills each month ($50)!  Today was the day to pay bills and many students accounts became overdrawn as they had spent all their money at our class store two weeks ago, and had forgotten to budget for bills.  They were really upset, but I was secretly happy because what a learning experience!! 

Students keep track of their money on a Bank Account Ledger.  I do not actually hand out classroom currency or physical checks each week (as I have done in the past) because it is simply too much work.  Students keep a ledger of their money and every entry must be signed by one of our trustworthy (and mathematically accurate) student economists. 

On Tuesday students received pizza for lunch because one student spent all of their hard-earned money to buy pizza for the class.  Such a selfless act for a student who normally causes difficulty in the classroom.  And today I got to take four students that had purchased passes to Cherry Berry for a treat!  It was so much fun and a great way to bond with the kids in a different setting.  This classroom economy set-up teaches the kids so much valuable information and is fun for all!


  1. Thank you for sharing all your pictures and ideas! I read about something similiar in the NCSS magazine. This is something I wanted to do this year. I teach 1-5 , so I will have to scale some things down for my younger students. Thank you again!

  2. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I will try this with my students :)

  3. Is there a way to get a clearer picture of the classroom jobs and classroom economy?

  4. Thanks for sharing! You're an inspiration to teachers like me.