Teachers can use their standard classroom jobs like take lunch count, put up chairs at the end of the day, etc. and turn them into weekly jobs that might exist in the real world like meal planner, or furniture designer, and can decide together as a group what each job should pay. Students can then apply for the jobs that they are most interested and qualified for. The teacher sets up the jobs in the app and kids can check off their jobs daily and see how much they’ve earned. A classroom manager is responsible for making sure everyone did their work and approving jobs at the end of the day. The same system can also be set up to overlay an economic study, where kids set up a business together. They can collaborate, create products to sell to the community, and donate the proceeds to a charity. Similarly, they can earn virtual wages for the jobs associated with the business, like: product assembly specialist, operations manager, or marketer. Kids can exchange virtual wages for items/experiences in a classroom store. Jobs can rotate weekly so kids gain perspective about different jobs and help them determine what is the most fulfilling to them.
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In addition to starting a business in small groups, 6th-8th graders will also gain insights to how and why people invest in companies, how they do so, and will get the chance to make investing decisions on their own. In a mini-shark tank simulation, each business pitches their own idea, and classmates get to decide which businesses they will invest in. Over the course of the weeks, as business decisions are made, like price of products and effects of the market (much like the mishap had explained above), the students will see their stocks rise and fall.
Again, very quickly they will be able to see how planned and unplanned circumstances can affect one’s net wealth and the health of a company.
All of our lessons teach personal finance lessons, support the standards for English language arts, and apply NCEE Voluntary
Standards in Economics.
Regardless of which path you take for the job creation, one valuable position to have in the platform (for 4th grade and above), is an insurance salesperson. This person earns a flat low wage and is offered commission for every policy they sell during the week. Children have a choice to buy property/car insurance and health insurance and may do so through the insurance salesperson. The fee comes out of their virtual wages. Once a week, kids pull “mishaps” out of a hat to determine if they have to pay for an unforeseen event, like a basement flood or their child broke their arm.
If they have insurance, they might pay nothing or very little in comparison to those who chose not to buy insurance. Week by week, the same process and choices are offered and very quickly kids get a sense of the risk vs. reward of insurance. While Fridays are typically payday, that is also when bills are due. Kids, again, draw a bill out of a hat and see what they owe for services such as housing, transportation and utilities. Once all bills are paid, kids can spend their virtual dollars in a classroom store with goods and services. Valuable lessons in self restraint or abundance are had along with the experience of emotions in a short 4-6 week study, to gain lessons that will hopefully last a lifetime.