There are fundamental lessons that children need to grasp in their classroom, like basic math, english, reading, writing and social skills. Yet there are many more lessons to be learned that are outside of the traditional school curriculum. We look at two different ways teachers can develop skills and understandings that are needed once a student leaves school. Here are some tried and tested ideas, activities and concepts that other teachers are introducing to their classroom!
A fun financial tool that turns your classroom into a virtual economy. The student learns financial, management, team-work and decision making skills.
Upon writing this article I had to have a go at Banquer, so I signed up! The process was extremely straightforward and intuitive. After creating an account - the application allowed the capability of copying and pasting an entire class roll into the system. I created an imaginary class roll. Once all my imaginary students were enrolled, Banquer took me through how to assign job roles and incomes to each child. The teacher or the class can decide what outgoing's come out of a students pay every week, like rent for their desk or purchasing lunch from the tuck-shop. Rent must be paid out to your (the teachers) account - and the app takes the students through a tour on how to do this. Things like tax and GST can be assigned to certain payments. Kids can have their virtual Kiwisaver come out of their income as-well. Depending on how the teacher runs the class, small jobs can be valued, then that paid into the students accounts. Students can set saving goals to reach by the end of the school year, or term by term.
Check out these raving reviews from teachers who have seen their student body largely benefit by using Banquer.
Colin Hill from Linwood Avenue School, NZ - Employment, weekly costs and key competency focuses with Colin Hill.
Jan Wells from St. James School, NZ - Engagement, class jobs and real-life parallels with Jan Wells.
Classroom Market Day
An awesome activity that teachers at every level are getting involved in... is a classroom / school wide market day. The general gist of it is that students get together in groups to come up with a product or service to sell. The school or the class host a market day and the kids sell their products and services.
Every aspect of the planning and execution process, walks the students through various lessons and teaches them great life skills.
From brainstorming ideas together, to pitching their concept to the class, to the budgeting and purchasing of items, to creating the product or service and marketing those, to the actual market day. This is a wonderful activity that can be done once a year. Students learn learn organisational, time management and social skills. They learn how to strategise, how to juggle a budget, what it takes to execute ideas, sales, marketing and design skills... Here are some DIY ideas that you could give to groups to create.
- Chalk pops
- Glitter Dipped Pencils
- Friendship bracelets.
- Sprinkle Oreo Pops
- Pom pom storage boxes
- Pencil Cases
Check out this awesome video on Sunset Elementary's Market Day.
- Teacher; Jennifer Wagner talks through the skills and economic learnings that her students were engaging with throughout the process.
Rex D'ath (author at Stuff.co.nz) surveyed a group of New Zealand parents. He shares their general thoughts around life skills being taught in the classroom. A collation of their responses and what they would love to see their kids learning at school - are pictured below.
If you have awesome ideas or concepts to teach life skills in the classroom - then please leave your suggestion below. We'd love to hear from you.