Our Classroom Economy

Mrs. Leandro's Bank
Our classroom banking system will use a college theme this year.  Students earn collegiate cash for turning in homework on time, following class rules, compliments, completing an All-Star Challenge, and bonuses for projects (etc).  They also pay fines for talking in the hallway, not turning in homework, being disrespectful (etc) and fees like rent of their chair, desk, lockers, etc.
   Our banking unit began on the first day of school.  Students have already earned some "Collegiate Cash."   In addition, students are given a savings account book, a checking account book, and an envelope to keep their money in.  I teach students how to use the savings deposit slips and withdrawal slips.  We also have fines and fees so students have the experience of budgeting and withdrawing money.  As a class, we discussed ideas for fines and agreed on them together.   Students will be given a banker test and the students with the highest scores are the top employees (president, vice president, managers, all the way to tellers and trainees).  Students can retake the test or correct answers to be sure they can handle the transactions at the bank accurately.  When students have adding and subtracting decimals down, I introduce the check writing unit and students who pass the test earn checkbooks.  Again, they can fix errors by doing a retest if needed. 
Banking Fines and Fees:  At the beginning of the year I give students money for things like a parent signature on certain documents, handing homework in on time, book projects and reports, etc.  I also pay my students "Collegiate Cash" for turning in their reading minutes at the end of the week. If a student does not have enough money to pay for fines, they have to pay with recess minutes.  Be sure to look at what the class agreed upon for fines and bonuses during open house!
Tax Day  On April 15th,  students add up all their cash, checks, money in their savings and checking accounts.  It's time to pay their classroom taxes.    Students compute their itemized deductions, fill out a W-2, read the tax table, and file their tax return.  Their "tax advisor" (parents) double check and  help if necessary.  Taxes need to be filed at the Leandro Bank on or before April 15th to avoid a penalty (loss of recess until paid).
 Classroom Rent:  To get a feel for how income and expenses work, students "rent" their desk, chair and locker area (no, they can't opt to not have the items).  Once a month the bills are handed out and bankers collect fees and check off who has paid.  I make sure I've given them enough chances to earn money to pay their fines.  This gives the students practice writing checks and balancing their check ledgers. Bankers initial the ledgers as each transaction is made. 
Earning Extra Money:  Students also earn $50 for each All Star Challenge they complete.  Students also earn $1 for each outside of school reading minute completed ($200 maximum).  
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