Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Classroom Economy

Life would be better if I could actually spend the money I print for my classroom.

Click HERE to view my classroom economy set.

Welcome to Classroom Economy 101:

Your classroom economy may not run exactly as mine does, but that's okay. Take the parts you like and what will work best for your students.

I am going to answer a couple of questions I received about the way classroom economy runs in my class.

First and foremost ... BE ORGANIZED. I have a binder with all of my classroom economy materials. At the beginning of the year, before school even starts, I have everything copied and ready to go. Visualize how you want this to look in your classroom.

  1. How do you run your classroom economy?
    • The beginning. At the beginning of the year students apply for the job of their choosing. They are given an application that requires them to select their top three jobs and why they would be a good fit. Once hired, students are given a folder with all the necessary materials needed to complete their job. 
    • The fun beings. Make sure ALL students are trained and know exactly what their job is asking of them. 
    • A few expenses. Keep ALL the money is not something your students should be saying. Students will need to spend $500 monthly on rent for their desk. This is paid to the banker. Students also may get into trouble with the police officer and fined for not completing homework, misbehaving, etc. (this is not something I let the police officer control. I let the police officers know when someone needs a fine ticket written.)
    • I have money left over, let's go to Target. You want to teach your students about being responsible with money. Once students have paid their rent, the rest is theirs to keep. I hold monthly auctions for students to spend their money. 
    • Auction. DO NOT buy things to auction off in your classroom. Ask parent volunteers to bring in small dollar items. You can also auction classroom coupons (sit in teacher's desk, lunch with teacher, etc) Here is where most of my students go wrong. The first auction they GO crazy, and I let them. They end up spending ALL of their money and when it comes time for next month's rent, they can't afford it. What a great life lesson! If a student cannot afford rent, he/she does not participate in the auction the upcoming month. He/she also has a negative checking balance. 
    • Savers. I admire these kids. Maybe one day I will be able to save my money instead of spending it all at Target. So Sally has decided to not participate in ONE auction and she has tons of money saved up. At the end of the year, I award the kids who have saved money with certificates and food (normally a sonic drink because it's super close to school and what kid doesn't feel cool walking around with a ROUTE 44 cherry limeade.) However, you can choose to celebrate these kids with whatever your heart desires. You may want to throw a "Saver's party." 
    • Day to Day. Every day students complete their job. Once a month, we take about 30 to 45 minutes to get everyone paid and rent paid. This is a BIG day for your bankers. You may want to do the first couple of months together, one step at a time. If a student needs to withdraw or deposit money into their bank, this can only be done after they complete morning work or at the end of the day. Model how to fill in the bank log, the rent log, deposit/withdrawal forms, etc. Have a central location in your room where these items are located, so students know where to get extra forms. 
How often are kids paid?
    • Once a month. The banker writes the paycheck and pays each kid in their group. 
Do you give extra money to kids?
    1. YES, I'm like Oprah. Just kidding, kind of. Whenever I see a student going above and beyond, BAM - here's $100. It's like the classroom management gold mine. Students also can earn extra money by making good grades. 
Do you have jobs for all your students?
    • Yes, everyone needs a chance to earn money. If they are not completing their job we may need to have a conference and discuss what is happening, and possibly change jobs. 
What do your students spend money on?
    • Auction items - read above. I also have super sweet kids. If they see someone struggling in the classroom, they give other kids money to help them out. This is also a teaching point. They need to learn in life that when they loan money they may not always get it back. Most of the time they aren't wanting it back, but just in case. 
  • How many copies of each type of money would you suggest printing?
    • You can always make more copies. You are going to need to keep your banker full of money. The banker needs enough money to pay 4 to 5 kids each month. I also keep a classroom bank opened with extra money. 
I realize this may not answer ALL your questions. If you have a specific question, ask below in the comments! :) 


  1. Do you have a set price for the items you auction?

  2. Do you have a set price for the items you auction?

  3. I usually just start with what I think it's worth!

  4. I just purchased your classroom economy set and I'm very excited to use it in my classroom. Do you also have a weekly job chart or do you just use this ? Thank you!!

  5. I am bringing this idea to my team! Hopefully they love it as much as I do! Just to be clear, each job is paid 1x per month? For example, the police officer has $650 each month (if they aren't fined or gain other rewards)?
    Also, how do you handle the difference in salaries? I'm sure there was reason for choosing different amounts.
    Thanks for sharing this with us!

    1. Awesome! Yes, just once a month but you can do whatever will work best in your classroom! It is all just up to you! It was just easier to manage once a month.

      It's the real world. The parents are given notice at the beginning and if someone has an issue, they can address it with you from the start. If the child's job is a banker, he/she will have more responsibilities than someone who is a substitute. Which is why they get paid more. I had an editable set in my product where you can change the dollar amount to the same on each.

      If the kids work hard they can earn more money from you! I had some of my kids with the lowest paying jobs receive the most money!

      You could also consider giving raises for working hard at their job!

  6. I am bringing this idea to my team! Hopefully they love it as much as I do! Just to be clear, each job is paid 1x per month? For example, the police officer has $650 each month (if they aren't fined or gain other rewards)?
    Also, how do you handle the difference in salaries? I'm sure there was reason for choosing different amounts.
    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  7. Do you ever rotate jobs during the year?

  8. Starting this up with my classroom tomorrow when we all get back from Winter break!! Yay!
    Just wondering if you start your students off with any money? (Like the Monopoly game) Or do they start with 0$ and just start earning throughout the month and on payday?
    Also when do you typically have your "rent day"? At the beginning of every month or near the end before your Auction? Thanks so much!!

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  11. Is the money editable so I can change the middle section each year to go with my classroom theme?

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  13. Hi, Ms. Humphrey,
    How often do you rotate the jobs? Every 9 weeks? only at the end of the 1st semester?

  14. Very helpful suggestions that help in the optimizing topic,Thanks for your sharing.


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