Not every one of our students will become doctors, lawyers, or engineers. In fact, not all of our students will even go to college. But one thing they will all definitely encounter as they progress in life is the need to manage money. I believe that this is the single most important way we as teachers can make an impact on our students’ lives.
So how can we make a difference?
By integrating financial literacy into our classrooms!
DISCLAIMER: There is no clear right way or wrong way to invest in your students, and these are just the ways I’ve found that work for me.
In keeping to the real-life focus of my program, I require my students to pay monthly expenses such as a desk rental fee, and I never just give them replacement supplies for free. It’s no fun for the students to see their money go, but that’s life!
Before you get started, you will need to:
- Think about what class jobs you’d like.
- Think about what expenses your students will have to pay each month.
- Decide which currencies you’d like to have in your classroom. Think about creating a spreadsheet in excel to use as your classroom bank or research other digital products that you can use. There are many cool resources available at low or no cost. If your students have easy access to electronic devices, check out Bankaroo- it’s free! I’ve personally spoken with the owner of the application and am very excited to help educators discover this product. You’ll also need to decide when your bank will be open. It can be a small amount of time each day or each week.
- Decide how many Market Day experiences you’d like to have during the year. I usually do three sales per year so that the students have the opportunity to see their businesses grow as they use what they’ve learned to tweak their business practices. You can split your class into two groups and allow them to take turns being producers and consumers at the market day.