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Mrs. Niehanke’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Lowndes High School
  • Valdosta, GA
  • More than half of students from low‑income households

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I created an incentive program 2 years ago that allows the students to earn classroom dollars and coins for reaching certain goals each day. One student's goal may be to make it through a class period without touching anyone else. Another student's goal may be to complete an assignment. Each student has their own particular goal to reach and they may change at any given time based on what is going on with that student. The students use that money to shop at our classroom store, "EPIC", each Friday during math class. This program has been very successful in modifying habits and behaviors each student at some point. Grades have gone up, discipline has gone down. It is a win-win for teachers, students, and even the community as we help to mold students into productive and successful citizens. This program also teaches very valuable money skills as the students identify coins and counting, and making change is reinforced daily. On shopping day, each student is required to complete a worksheet listing the total amount of money they have in their bag so they know their budget. They then go to the "store" to shop. They then must go back to their seat and list each item and its price, calculate the total and check to see if that amount is within budget. If not, they must make decisions on what item to put back. They then must find the total due using the smallest bills and coins. Once that is done, they list the "amount given to cashier" and determine their change due. This is done so that students learn to be responsible for making sure numbers are correct when doing real life shopping without depending on the honesty of a stranger.

About my class

I created an incentive program 2 years ago that allows the students to earn classroom dollars and coins for reaching certain goals each day. One student's goal may be to make it through a class period without touching anyone else. Another student's goal may be to complete an assignment. Each student has their own particular goal to reach and they may change at any given time based on what is going on with that student. The students use that money to shop at our classroom store, "EPIC", each Friday during math class. This program has been very successful in modifying habits and behaviors each student at some point. Grades have gone up, discipline has gone down. It is a win-win for teachers, students, and even the community as we help to mold students into productive and successful citizens. This program also teaches very valuable money skills as the students identify coins and counting, and making change is reinforced daily. On shopping day, each student is required to complete a worksheet listing the total amount of money they have in their bag so they know their budget. They then go to the "store" to shop. They then must go back to their seat and list each item and its price, calculate the total and check to see if that amount is within budget. If not, they must make decisions on what item to put back. They then must find the total due using the smallest bills and coins. Once that is done, they list the "amount given to cashier" and determine their change due. This is done so that students learn to be responsible for making sure numbers are correct when doing real life shopping without depending on the honesty of a stranger.

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