Classroom Economics Project Teaches Valuable Money Management Skills

Fourth grade students on St. Mark’s Campus are learning valuable money management skills by simulating what it is like to live in a micro-community. After interviewing for and applying for jobs, students hold a position that plays an important role in the classroom community. From bankers and loan officers to morning operators and community officers, each job earns a monthly “salary” corresponding with its level of responsibility. Students also earn “money” for positive behavior, excellent academic work, participating in events, and volunteering. 

Part of the funds raised go toward renting their own desks. In some cases, a portion of salaries may need to be used to pay fines for missed assignments or for infractions related to the classroom code of conduct. If a student is running low on funds for their rent, they have the option of borrowing money with interest. 

To keep track of funds, each student has a bank log similar to a checkbook. They work with bank slips for deposits and withdrawals to emphasize the importance of recordkeeping and attention to detail. 

“By bringing real-world scenarios into the classroom, students see the impact of their decisions to save, spend, and budget,” said Wendy Napier, Fourth Grade Instructor. “Students who diligently save throughout the month are rewarded with the privilege of participating in an end of the month prize auction or earning privileges like crazy sock day. This economic exercise has made an abstract topic more understandable.”