Money system

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Learner4Life, May 23, 2011.

  1. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    May 23, 2011

    I know several of you use a Money/checking system as part of your classroom management. I would really like to do this but I'm still working out the kinks. I have a couple of questions for you:

    ~What $ do you start out with?
    ~What do you give $ for?
    ~What do you take $ away for?
    ~What kinds of rewards do you have?
    ~I went to a seminar once where the teacher made it a requirement for the student to have $1000 in their account before they could go on a field trip. Do you have any requirements like this?

    Thanks in advance!!!:D
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 23, 2011

    Hey there! Good luck with your system. Here are my responses:

    If you're asking how much each child can start out with, there's no right answer, and it depends on how you're going to use the system. Some people essentially have an entire economy in their classroom, where kids get "paid" not only for good behavior, but for completing assignments, showing up on time, etc. In addition, they have kids pay for things - they have to pay for supplies, etc. To the extent that it's just a rewards system and kids aren't going to be expected to pay for routine things, you can start out with $0, which would make the most system considering the money is a reward. If you are doing more of an "economy" where kids have to pay "bills," have routine paychecks, etc., then it becomes a bit more complicated. Let me know if you're doing it this way.

    It's best to let kids know up front what they can earn money for, because you want them to take ownership over their behavior and rewards. If they are randomly rewarded for things that you deem good, then ownership decreases, and kids start to see the system more as a personal reward from you, rather than something they've earned.

    In general, there are 2 categories of behaviors to reward:

    1) General classroom rules and expectations, which you teach at the beginning of the year.

    2) New social skills you teach over time, and "fold in" to the system.

    Again, this partially depends on the kind of system. Some people set it up where kids earn $200/week, but then get docked if they do something bad. This is a more "parsimonious" system and is how more advanced systems tend to work, especially in residential or other programs where it would be very difficult to reward for every single positive behavior. The marking for this kind of system is also a bit more advanced, as opposed to just randomly handing out dollars for good behavior when "caught being good."

    Again, depends on the setup. When the set up is that kids get a fixed amount per week, then lose money for infractions, then they lose money for the inverse of the behaviors listed above - infractions related to either 1) general classroom infractions, or 2) newly taught social skills.

    It's generally advisable to not take away rewards kids earn - people who do the "response cost" version where kids lose money tend to have a marking sheet where money is tabulated over the course of the marking period (e.g., day, week) and then are paid based on that "time sheet" at the end of the week. This technically isn't taking money away as much because they haven't been paid out yet.

    I've had a store with multiple items to purchase, from food to toys, but have also "sold" preferred activities. If you good "behavior management rewards" you can probably find a list of 200 or so pretty quickly :).

    Sometimes, but not in that way. It's a tricky situation with field trips. On one hand, it's good to have some kind of external behavior standard that kids know they need to meet in order to show that they are demonstrating enough positive behavior to go. On the other hand, field trips can be good bonding experiences, and I often really want the kids with behavioral issues to go, because it's a good break from the academic rigor of the normal day. If you set a standard that's too high, you end up having some kids that will never get to go on field trips. Not only is this a lost bonding opportunity, but many consider field trips to be part of the academic curriculum - having kids miss a substantial number of field trips because their behavior is never high enough would be inappropriate.

    In non-school settings, I've "sold" field trips before, which removes the high standard criterion for field trips - the kids with behavioral issues can still go, but they have to work and earn enough money for it. The problem with this is, of course, many kids will spend their money as soon as they get it, and may not have enough to go on field trips.

    The "have $1,000 in the bank" idea doesn't make sense because it's neither a behavioral standard nor a cost - it basically reinforces kids not cashing in their reinforcement, and while I like the idea of reinforcing "saving behavior," I wouldn't make the stakes so high (i.e., lost field trip if you don't).

    If you're not going to be really, really serious about it, I wouldn't relate field trips to the system. I would have a basic assumption that all kids can go, unless there are particular behavioral issues which you think will likely be an issue on the field trip.
     
  4. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    May 23, 2011

    I had a "ticket" system about 4 years ago when I was teaching in an inner city school with no support from administration when it came to discipline. There was no detention, we couldn't send any students to the office no matter how badly they behaved. After I used the "ticket" system, students' behavior and work improved greatly.

    Here's how I did it.

    Students will be seated in groups and would earn tickets for the following:

    Groups who would have 100% homework.
    Groups who didn't get any checks for behavior problems.
    Groups who kept area nice and neat.
    Groups who worked well and were on task.
    When the classroom had 100% homework completion, everybody would get 2 tickets.
    Helpers of the week would also earn tickets.
    Once in a while I would have a special deal where they could earn tickets.

    They could spend their tickets on the following items:

    Homework pass (if students had a B average)
    Sit next to a friend
    Pencils, erasers, candy.

    Most of them spend their tickets on pencils or erasers because they always needed them.

    I would have a mini store that I would open every other week and they could buy little gadgets I would get at the dollar store. You should have seen the faces of these tough middle schoolers getting all excited for these little gadgets.

    This worked great for me as students would push one another to get the groups to earn tickets. Very rarely I had a student mess up for the rest of the group. In that case, special accomodations were made.

    The interesting thing is that back then the math coordinator was impressed with this system I had going on. Now that he's a principal, he implemented a ticket system schoolwide where students can earn tickets in classrooms and can spend their tickets in a store once a month.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    Marci, very neat about the principal spinning your idea to school wide.

    We also use tickets as part of our class economy, but I think that I want to have a sheet where money is earned lost and then totaled at the end of the week. Then students can use their money/tickets for little things.

    My students start with $0 and need to earn, but usually they earn money or tickets right away. My expectations were similar to Marci's, just individually. But I love the group idea!

    For a consequence, I usually take away half of what they could have earned for the good behavior.

    No requirements for field trips.
     
  6. Srohl

    Srohl Rookie

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    May 23, 2011

    I teach second grade. I start the year off by giving each student a wallet made out of wallpaper. The paint store will give them to you for free when they get new ones. I purchased play money at the dollar tree.
    Students start out without any money. They can earn money for attendance, good behavior, and doing homework. They keep their money in their wallets. I never take money away for poor behavior.
    Students can use their money for a homework pass, a show and tell session, lunch with me, etc. For example, a homework pass costs $50.00. Lunch with me costs $100.00.
    At the end of each quarter we have an auction. I order books with my scholastic points, parents donate, my principal gives me the freebies she receives, etc.
    This system teaches my students how to count and manage money. The system also teaches them some self control. It is fun to watch them during the auction. Often they want to buy something for
    someone else.
    I would never expect them to earn money for a field trip. I also know my principal would never support this idea.
    Hope this helps!
     
  7. Srohl

    Srohl Rookie

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    May 23, 2011

    About the wallpaper....I meant to say the paint stores will give you the books full of wallpaper samples when they receive new books.
     

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