Wednesday, August 02, 2006 @ 19:08 by Alana.
I just thought I'd use the old blog to reflect on a few things that I'm doing in class at the moment. Maybe I can clear up a few things in this deep fried brain of mine that doesn't seem to working to well lately! Please please offer comments or questions.
I have a very energetic and excitable class of 12 year olds, and about 10 with different sorts of learning difficulties and its often hard to engage them. They all love acting and role plays (not many entire classes do!) and my boys in particular find it hard to get anything from in their head down onto paper, I know its up there, it just takes a while to come out!
The head of the campus I am at wrote an article a few years ago about a money system he started in his classroom where the kids were paid and/or fined for doing things in class with a class currency. For example, If you brought in your homework all completed on Monday morning, you would be paid, but if you are caught wearing incorrect uniform you can be fined. He had different ways of carrying this out in his class but the closing comment was : "You are limited only by your imagination!" But my imagination hurts at the moment, so can I borrow yours?!
Here is how my money system/City is operating...
- two desks in the middle of the room covered with paper and students who were town planners drew plots and roads
- students earn money to buy a plot of land by bringing their diary everyday to be signed, showing that they have completed their homework with a parent signature
- they saved up this money to buy their plots at a series of auctions, where they had to have paddles and were expected to buy if they bid
- some formed groups, pooled their money and bought plots next to each other
- i then limited the number of plots a group could own to one plot per person per group, ie, five in the group, maximum five plots.
- i elected five students as policemen to fine students who broke rules
- we wrote rules as a class
.... anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time can be fined, anyone who repeatedly talks when they shouldn't fined; fines go out for not doing class duties, not bringing homework, leaving property on the veranda, speed ticket for running in class
- payday happens once a week. Most students have another job to do, like policemen, or selling fence posts, driveways, trees and bushes. The money comes back to me and they get paid 100$ if they have been punctual with homework and class assignments all week, 50$ if they haven't.
- then came a maths lesson, i decided that from their pay they had to pay back tax. so we converted percentages to fractions to decimals so that we could figure how much each had to pay back in tax.
- also , by australian law (tehe) I have to pay them 9% super on top of their salary, so when they retire (this hasn't really been thought through!) they can get a pay out and afford to live!!!! argh! They have to keep accurate records of their tax and super.
-Now for the properties:
- this week each property had to have grass (coloured paper, which could only be bought from our class grass dealer (heh), a driveway, and a fence. We have a huuge container of matchsticks sold at $1 each, or $2 for the coloured ones.
- Oh by the way, one girl asked if she could be queen, so I said 'sure', and gave her a stack of money and the largest property on the table city. But because she has everything twice the size as everyone else, she has to pay more, and fortunately is the kind who is still motivated to earn her money the way everyone else is.
- then, because there are a lot of jobs that need doing here and there, that don't really have titles (or maybe they do/can) I have a list of 'casual' workers who can earn $20 by doing anything that I might ask them. For example, one girl made a prayer request book, another printed out bible verses for each class member, another made street signs
- everyone in the class brainstormed street names (someone suggested Macpherson street, yesssssssss) and then we all voted on the best 5 names.
Here is the standard pay system:
- $5 for having diary open on the table to the correct date with a parent signature
- $5 for recording how much silent reading was completed the night before. you cannot have just this without a parent signature
- $50 'slack' pay - job, but not punctual with handing in work complete
- $100 complete pay
- + 9% super
- 20% of that is tax, comes back to me
- Driveways $50 for 3x6 cm 100 for 3x12cm, 150 for 3x180 cm
- grass $20 A5 , $10 A6
- hedges and plants and trees, I am not sure of the price, or how much foliage per person to make compulsory!
- fences are more expensive, the closer you put your matchsticks together. most are spaced out along a bit of paper
- I am wondering whether we need some more law in relation to properties and housing...bills? rates? mortgages? inflation?!
- Oh, for houses, we are making these in maths this week, and covering 'Area & Perimeter' at the same time.
- what about the stock market?
- do we need a mail man? a river?
what about the mess?! I guess just about anything now can be fixed by a law and a fine, but there is just so much to think about!
! I should do a writing activity to see what they like and would like to improve.
the whole class is such a mess, but they all want to come in first thing and talk about it all the time! I have never had so many kids all in my face and i feel more tired! what have i done!? On the other hand, I've not had so many kids do maths so eagerly and quickly, and stay on task the whole time while doing it!
Speak to me!