As promised- here is some information about my class store! But first some background: I decided to use a reward system for my behavior plan the first year I taught kindergarten. Basically the kids earned pennies for doing good things like neat work, helping clean-up, working quietly, bringing in homework, etc. They also lost pennies for breaking class rules. I always explained it to them that just like moms and dads have jobs- kids have jobs too. As kindergartners their job was to be a good listener, be a kind friend, and do great work. Moms and Dads get paid when they do their job, and in our classroom kindergartners get paid for doing their job. Every other Friday we open p our class store for students to use their hard-earned pennies. They love this! And I love the class store because it gives my students great practice with counting, identifying coins, making fair trades for nickels and dimes, making change, making good consumer choices, and spending/saving.
This year I decided to jump on the clip-chart band-wagon. I also love this behavior management system but it's just a little overwhelming to try and do clips and coins. Sooooo in a desperate teacher moment I created the "penny fairy". Just so you know I really try to make a habit of not all out lying to my kids. I've gotten very creative at dodging the "Is Santa real?" question. Anyhow- so the penny fairy visits our classroom at night when all the kids are gone and drops pennies into the jars of kids who she's seen doing a good job during the day. I told the kids that sometimes us teachers get so busy teaching and doing stuff that we just don't see all the good things that kiddos do. So the penny fairy comes at night to reward kids that didn't get to clip-up or get pennies for making such good choices. Okay- I know a little crazy but boy is it working like a charm! Of course I'm getting paid back for my little deception now. Every time my kiddos find a pieces of trash or a misplaced crayon they proclaim it a "clue" to finding the penny fairy. I've caught a few of them huddled in the bathroom investing a promising lead. =) Haha- I guess I asked for that.
Now for the nitty-gritty:
Where do the kids keep their pennies? Each of the kids in my class have a baby food jar with a spray-painted lid where they keep their pennies. If you are uncomfortable with having glass in the classroom you could also use those little Glad portion cups (they come in packs of 8).
How many kids shop at once? We usually allow 3-4 kids to shop at once. In the beginning of the year they need help with counting their money and actually buying things. While some shop I either have my kids doing some sort of seat work, watching a movie during rest time, or doing a free choice.
What kinds of stuff do you sell in the store? Where do you get your class store items? I have all kinds of things in my class store- mostly little trinket items. Popular items with my kids are novelty jewelry, pretty pencils, cool erasers, little party favor games or balls, stickers, party favor sunglasses, etc. One year my kids were really into sports trading cards so we had a lot of those.You'll get a feel for what your kiddos like. My first year I opened the store I spent about $25 dollars at Party City to stock they store. Most of the items from my store come from parent donations. I ask parents to send in extra party favors from birthdays, happy meal toys, and anything they want to pick-up from the store. Once the parents see how excited the kids are about the store they are more than happy to send in stuff. I
How much do items cost in the store? The items in my store cost from one cent to twenty cents. You'll have to just guess for your first store set-up but then after you see what the hot items are you can price based on what the hottest items. If you want a general idea- pencils are two cents, plastic rings are five cents, cheapy party favor glasses are twelve cents, glitter pens are eighteen cents in my store.
Where do you store all the stuff? All the items are grouped together by price in Tupperware tubs. I got two cheapy $2.99 packs from IKEA, and it was enough for all my stuff. Each of these bins are labeled with prices. On store day all these containers get put out on the table arranged from cheapest to most expensive. On non-store days I keep the bins inside a large five drawer Sterlite container inside my storage closet.
Here's some pictures if you're a visual person:
Alternative storage? I saw this great idea on Pinterest (click on the photo to see the original post). I wish I had room to actually do this:
I hope that helps answer some of your questions about our little kindergarten economy. =) Let me know if you have any other questions.