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Classroom Economy

"It's the first day of the month - rent is due!" At the beginning of each month, my 4th grade students pull out their checkbooks and pay their “$1,000 rent.” Leading up to this, 4th graders also receive their monthly paychecks and extra-curricular activity bonuses. All of these events are a daily part of the classroom economy system in my 4th grade classroom.

At the beginning of each quarter, students complete job applications and apply for the classroom job that best fits their unique strengths. Before job assignments are made, students determine salaries for the jobs, depending on the job qualifications and duties. By having income and expenses, the “real-world” comes to life in our classroom, and students develop money management skills while learning the importance of saving. Throughout the year, there are many opportunities to “spend money” on special activities, such as having lunch with a favorite teacher or even the Head of School. However, many students choose to save their money until they are able to “purchase their desks” and be exempt from the monthly rent payments. Students who choose to pay off their expenses first often find that they are then able to spend more money on exciting activities of their choice.  

In addition, the 4th grade students also write a list of fines and bonuses that they believe are critical aspects of a fair, self-driven classroom. By allowing students to create the system on their own, I find that they show a great sense of ownership in the day-to-day happenings of our classroom. This sense of belonging and citizenship builds on important skills that will one day develop into a dedication to their own communities outside of our classroom.

Our classroom economy system is just one of the many daily activities at Evansville Day School that contribute to the development of resilient, balanced, globally minded, entrepreneurial learners through hands-on, experiential education.


Megan Collins
4th Grade teacher