Sunday, July 21, 2013

Classroom Economy System

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It again this week. I've been on a roll!

Last year was the first year I used a classroom economy system. It worked wonders for all of my kiddos, especially my student with a Behavior Support Plan. It's hard not to buy into something when it all revolves around (fake) money and prizes.  You can read all about how I set up and used my classroom economy system last year here

This year I have decided to switch to coins for our money system. My students really mastered counting bills last year. Tha
t was easy peasy by the end of the year. But many of them are struggling with counting various coins. So what better way to get them motivated to count money than by earning it themselves! I converted all of their "earnings" and "fines" into coins. What was $1.00 last year now converts to $0.25. We'll be using quarters, dimes and nickels this year.

While updating the amounts, I also made this little Dollar Store photo album into a prize catalog.  My students love to "purchase" these reward passes during our Friday store. Last year I used to put out the passes and higher priced rewards that were printed out in plastic sleeves out onto the table. It was cluttered and hard to find what we were looking for. Now they will have this small 4x6 photo album to flip through with the prices listed on each item.

I basically enlarged the reward passes to 4x6 size, printed them out and added them to the photo album. I also made a cover and back to match my classroom theme.  If you'd like a free copy of my reward passes, you can find them here on TpT.  If you'd like to make a prize catalog, you can download that here from Google Docs.  If you email me or leave a comment with your email address, I'd be happy to make you a photo album cover to match your classroom theme for your prize catalog.

Remember when I mentioned those zippered pencil pouches that I had no idea what to do with them? Alison mentioned she used them for her classroom economy system. They will work perfectly for all of our coins that the students will be earning this year. Perfect! I labeled each of the pouches with the student names (I am fortunate to already know all of my students from last year) so they are ready for day 1 of school. 

If you are interested in finding out more about what my students can earn money for and what our "fines" are, you can see that here. Included on the list is our monthly rent.  Oh yes. My kiddos have to pay rent for their desk, chair and supply box. It teaches them important life skills, that's for sure!


  1. love your classroom economy... what a great idea to do coins... i am sure they will be masters in counting money by Christmas :)

  2. I LOVE your Prize Catalog! I have had a class economy for the last 4 years (ever since I started teaching) and love it. My first year, because I had an older class, one of the local banks donated fake checkbooks and ledgers to my class. We did our entire class economy on checkbooks. Taught my ESE kiddos life skills for sure - managing money and balancing a checkbook. I switched to fake dollars when I switched grade levels.
    How often do your kids "shop"? I've done it every Friday, every other Friday, and the last Friday of the month. Not sure which I want to do this year though...I'd love to hear when your kids "shop" and why you picked that schedule?

    The Disneyfied Teacher

    1. Hi Ryan,
      My class "shops" every Friday afternoon. I have a student on a Behavior Support plan and he needs that positive reinforcement as often as possible. They are able to pick out one thing to buy. It could be a reward pass, snack or "trinket". Class store is part of our Friday afternoon routine and the kids really look forward to it every Friday. We spend the 20 minutes after lunch shopping and having free time.

      I have the one reward rule so my things last longer. I got a $500 grant last year and was able to buy all sorts of goodies, but it does go fast. It costs me $, but it's so worth it!

  3. I too use a classroom economy :) I teach 4th and use a Check Book system, dealing with all those coins was too much for me. You seem to have a great handle on it!

    I {Heart} Recess

  4. I'm loving this idea, Kelly! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  5. Can you make me a custom cover for the classroom economy catalog? I am going to implement this in my room for the first time this year and am looking for all things that will keep me organized right off the bat! This idea is wonderful!

    My room is black & white and red - my email is Thanks! - Katie

  6. I would love for you to make me a cover for my catalog. My colors are pink, black and gray (zebra ). This will be my first time trying this and I can not wait. Thanks for all your help. Is there somewhere that I can find instruction on explain this to my students.

    My email is

    Thanks, Mrs. Ferry

  7. I love your ideas. I found you on pinterest and I have done a money system and store in my classroom for about four years. I was teaching 2nd grade and this year I am in four so I am trying to find better prizes for my fourth graders. Some of these passes are going to work great.

  8. I would love to know what your prices were with your whole dollar in stead of coins. So if your rent is $4.00 with coins, would it be doubled when you did the bills?

    1. Hi Danielle,

      Yes, I just doubled everything when using dollar bills. Next year I have a big group of 1st graders coming in, so I will go back to dollar bills for them.

      Thanks for stopping by!