How to Start a Classroom Economy

The thought of starting up a classroom economy can be daunting, to say the least. I mean where would you even start? Do you need to make fake money? Then you get lost in thought thinking about how if you launch a classroom economy you would have more fake money in your classroom then you do in your real life purse. Teacher life 101. Then you get to thinking, if I have no money how could I afford to put fun prizes in my classroom shop? The teacher struggles are just so real. If you want a simple, fuss-free way to start up a class economy that will not cost you the earth then look no further. 

The Why 

First up, you will need to decide why you want to start a classroom economy. What do you want your students to learn from participating in it? What values do you want to be at the center of your economic system? Are you passionate about teaching your students the value of saving? Or are you more interested in getting their behavior on track first? 

The What 

Once you know why you want to start your economy, you will need to decide what jobs you want your students to do. This works best on a class by class basis. If you have a really reserved student, then you may have a job such as pet minder, or librarian in mind for them. Of course, it will be up to you whether you get your students to apply for their job or if you want to take the reigns and assign them jobs initially. Thinking of all the jobs, you want your students to do can be hard. Here is a list of all the jobs I have come across in the past: 

> arts materials coordinator 
> attendance monitor 
> whiteboard eraser 
> end of line monitor 
> calendar monitor 
> cleanup monitor 
> computer whiz
> door monitor 
> recycling monitor 
> first aid helper 
> homework monitor 
> learning display monitor 
> trash monitor 
> the official librarian 
> line leader 
> lunch monitor 
> messenger 
> table wiper 
> technician 
> paper monitor 
> sink monitor 
> substitute 
> water bottle monitor 
> weather reporter 
> teachers assistant 
> desk detective 
> math materials coordinator 
> travel agent 
> trustworthy cashier 
> money wise economist 
> pencil monitor 
> bathroom monitor 
> chair stacker 
> clean sweeper 
> pledge leader  
> plant monitor 
> journal helper 
> mat helper 
> snack helper 
> letter vest helper 
> hand sanitizer manager 
> pet minder 

The When 

Advertise your heart away! Make up a 'jobs available' sign and get those applicants rolling in. Leave a pile of applications on a table next to your display of all your classroom jobs. The best and most fun way to introduce a classroom economy system is to surprise your students. Don't say a word and then prepare the classroom before your next school day. Put up all the job adverts, and related posters and let the children figure out what is going on for themselves! Dramatic play is best served with a side of exploration. 

The Who 

When all of the jobs you want to have have been sorted, you will need to then assign them. This could be done as randomly as getting all the applications for the same job and drawing a name out of a hat, or it could be done as strategically as matching the best fit applicant to each job. The later is the best one if your students are older and you want them to have an experience that is as close to real life as possible. 

The How 

So the jobs are created and assigned... now, how do you implement your economic system? Set up and print out some fake money to use in your class. Then, create and print bank transaction forms as well as bonus and fine information. Set up an area of your classroom for the class shop, which you can fill with reward coupons if you are on a tight budget. Put up a sign that states the opening hours of the classroom store to make it all that much more real. And you are ready to go. 

Let me know how your classroom economy goes in the comments below. 

If you would like to save the hassle of making it yourself by purchasing the gorgeous ready made classroom economy set shown in the photos then please CLICK HERE.  This set is fully editable and comes in full color and specs of black and white so that your kids can color in their own character on their classroom job. 



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