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Get it Done!: Token Economy

Here's another of our mom's summertime plans. One summer she set up a "Token Economy" for our summer jobs. It had a few simple parts.

– There was a set of jobs we each were required to do daily. Each job had a set amount of money associated with it.
– There was a list of extra jobs available, each with a set amount of money associated with it as well. Here there was potential to earn quite a bit of extra money each week.
– If you failed to do your required jobs in a timely manner, the maid (Mom) would do it for you. Unfortunately, the maid isn't cheap! Maid service cost significantly more than the job, motivating you to get your jobs done right and on time.
– We were paid once a week, if I recall. You received the money you earned each week minus any maid service fees.

The second component here is that because there was the potential to earn a significant amount of money in this "economy" we took on the responsibility of paying for our own school clothes that year. This means we could spend our money each week but come fall, if we'd spent it all, we wouldn't be purchasing new school clothes that year. It may sound mean, but it was a great way to teach us responsibility with money. And I, for one, did really well with this economy system and earned plenty of money for school clothes and extra spending money. My brother on the other hand didn't have much left over for new clothes!

I believe I was about 12 when we did this, and I was the youngest child. But you could adapt this to most any age.

Heidi has also used a similar system in her classroom. To help the students learn about money they earned plastic coins for good behavior and other tasks. The money was kept in a little "bank" on their desks. She also used a charge for Maid Service as a consequence for not cleaning up your desk area at the end of the day. When the student earned $1.00 they could trade it in for a prize anytime before or after school.

We hope you got some good summer and classroom management ideas this week!

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After a combined 14 years in 2nd grade, sisters Heidi & Emily are passionate about helping simplify life for other teachers!

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