Friday, December 14, 2012

My Class Economy Part 3: Managing Accounts, Writing Checks, Workshops, and Bonuses

During the month of September, after everyone has gotten a job, we have special "workshops" that do two things:
1) Expose the kids to extra ways to make money outside of their monthly paychecks, and
2) Teach them how to deposit checks and write checks.

Each child gets their own bank book. The bank book looks like this:

Except it's nice and folded...

The bank book lets each child keep track of their bank accounts, and it helps them keep track of Math Bonuses; extra ways to earn money. I used a modified template from Adobe's InDesign to make the bank books.
The first step is to give each child some free money. I tell them that this is for our special workshops, and they won't be able to use it to pay rent.
I give them each a check for 60 Moneys. This covers three workshop costs, at 20 Moneys a piece:

Except that the check is signed.

I teach the kids to endorse the check and fill out a deposit ticket:
They update their bank book, and hand over the check and deposit ticket to their banker. The banker keeps track of the individual accounts as well. This helps out a lot. Sometimes the banker makes a mistake, and sometimes her customers make mistakes. Being able to have two written records of each bank account fixes this. 

Our first workshop is Sudoku. I teach the kids how to do it, and they practice. I have a Math Bonus Box where I keep the sudoku puzzles. They can also be downloaded from our class website.
After the kids learn Sudoku through a practice puzzle, it's now time for them to pay for the workshop. They each get a blank check, and we go through the process of how to write a check and update their bank book.

Throughout the month I introduce them to other ways to make money. These are some of the ways children can make extra money:
Sudoku Puzzles
Tangram Puzzles
Scratch Projects
Logic Puzzles
Kakuro Puzzles
- Drawing Fractals ( Sierpinski triangle and Apollonian Gasket)
- Something called a Zoo problem. I picked this up in a Thai book of puzzles. It's a geometry problem where you have to arrange square "cages" around animals on a grid.

We also have our "class economy" time during the last period on Friday. This is the time when everyone works at their job. At the end of the month each student gets a pay check that they deposit:

And the next day they write me a check for rent. We go through this routine throughout the first semester.

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