The topic of classroom economics has fascinated me and many of you might already be familiar with this type of classroom management. Students receive positive reinforcement through"money" for their good behaviors. This behavior could include turning in homework on time or being "nice" on the playground. Students must "pay" for negative behavior. At the end of a pay period, usually monthly, students will be allowed to use their "cash". At the surface, this seems pretty straight forward. However, I have researched some logistics to help you as you implement a micro economy in your own classrooms.
First, teaching basic money management. Students need to understand the value of money. By using resources you can teach a basic lessons such as supply and demand or barter system. This background knowledge will help students as they embark on this journey with you.
Next, give students jobs to earn extra cash. Students not only earn money for behavior but for helping other students and classroom. Students can have jobs that range from the garbage collector to tutor or typist. As a classroom discuss jobs and pay. This way students feel involved in the process.
Lastly, decide on a way you would like to manage the money. I have seen copied paper dollar bills to a credit/debit system. Find a system that will work for you. Letting the students have ownership over their behavior and money will also save you time. Recently, I saw some great ideas that work well in a classroom. First, students need a place to keep their money safe. How about a 3 x 5 card holder as a a wallet! The next idea I have seen work in one classroom, is to have students bring the items to auctioned off. The students earn money from their auctioned items as well! This keeps money in your own personal wallet and is a great lesson on inflation, too!
Try these resources with this integrated social studies lesson in your classroom.