My first grade students represent many cultures and backgrounds. I work hard to make our classroom a place for all learners to feel safe to be themselves and make mistakes from which to grow. I see it as one of my primary objectives to help my students become happy, healthy, productive members of society. They make my job a joy and motivate me to seek out the very best for them.
I want my first graders to be curious, ask questions, and be joyful, lifelong learners.
Part of my job is to motivate them by giving them a sense of agency and choice. They will be more invested in their learning if they have some say in what we are doing and how we are doing it. To this end, I seek creative and diverse materials and resources.
I have an annual class project in which students earn class money by doing their job (Coming to school, being on time, turning in important forms, etc.). In addition to being a great incentive for my first graders at the end of the year, we learn all about earning, saving, buying, and pooling resources. Students generate a list of what they can "buy" with their class money, usually including a hug from the teacher, a few minutes of extra recess, and lunch with the teacher. It is incredibly motivating for students and I always encourage my colleagues to give it a try, because it generates an excited buzz in the classroom at a time of the year when students and teachers are feeling quite ready for summer break.
This year, I would like to take my financial literacy project to the next level by getting realistic-looking money and get different denominations to encourage trading with the "bank." I would like to have more books on the topics of earning, saving, wants vs.
needs, and sharing, a metal cash box for a more authentic banking experience, and some large magnetic bills to display different combinations. I think the students will be very excited to see me retire the 8-year-old purple mini-bills I copied out of an old curriculum!
Thank you for helping my students have fun and learn a bit about economics!
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