In the month leading up to the simulation, our class learned how to balance personal checkbooks, apply for jobs, and vote for elected officials. I was voted judge and was busted by the policeman (who I employed) for eating popcorn out of the designated area. It was fantastic!
In 2005, when I was the math and social studies teacher at Kasintorn St. Peter School in Thailand, I recreated the experience with my 5th and 6th graders.
While I was working at Khartoum American School in Sudan, I started using bits and pieces of Rafe Esquith's model:
But there was something lacking in these approaches. At the time I wasn't sure what it was, but it was something big- an entrepreneurial embrace and cultivation of spirit.
It wasn't until I got to Lincoln here in Nepal though that I started really thinking about a year long unit about economics, and I started combining not only these experiences, but other things I was already doing in the class as well. The change came because I knew it was necessary, but also because my class challenged me into thinking outside of traditional class economies. If it wasn't for that group of kids, I probably would have been too afraid to give them so much choice. The overview that I came up with after that year is something I posted before. It's this presentation:
But this series of posts will attempt to get into the specifics of what my classroom economy looks like today. Here are the posts that I am planning:
Part 2: Creating Meaningful Classroom Jobs
Creating classroom jobs that kids will be both interested in and learn from
Part 3: Managing Accounts, Writing Checks, Workshops, and Bonuses
Learning how to deposit and withdraw money from our bank.
Part 4: What Does It Mean To Produce Something?
Videos, Books, and Field Trips to help us prepare to be Entrepreneurs
Part 5: The Christmas Firings
The mid-year switch from "Government Jobs" To Entrepreneurs
Part 6: A Study In Advertising Genres
Critically looking at advertising genres, and creating our own.
Part 7: The Stockmarket and Welfare
Introducing two important concepts at an elementary level
Part 8: The Fourth Grade Film Festival
Bringing in the outside community for buying and selling
Part 9: Where We Need To Go
Plans for a flower farmers' market with our sister school.