An Inside Look at the Third Graders Classroom Economy
As a teenager who wants and needs money, I got a summer job. It had never occurred to me that some of our youngest Cougars at Collegiate could also have the opportunity to earn “money,” purchase goods, and learn about the economy. In Mrs. Katie Musick’s third grade classroom, each student has the opportunity to spend and earn play money and make real life economic decisions.
Musick started the Classroom Economy to “apply real world situations to the economic vocabulary that [the students] were already learning.” Her goal is for her students to “live and experience the economic terms that they are studying.”Students earn money by fulfilling various classroom occupations, such as table washer, sweeper, messenger, greeter, and secretary. In order to get a job, a student has to fill out an application. If a student’s performance in a job is lacking, the student will be dismissed from that position. Students also can earn money on their birthday or half-birthday, for a clean desk inspection, and for having a perfect test score. Students are paid weekly on Friday, with their pay in a range of $10-$20, depending on his or her job. Once a month, students can spend their hard-earned money at the Class Market, where they can purchase homemade goods from their classmates. The students learn the value of purchasing an item and the experience of earning money by selling items. “The Classroom Economy is where you apply and get paid jobs” says Bella G. (‘26).
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