The teachers of the Aratiatia team could see a need to focus on developing the mathematics skills of our students. The children expressed an interest in selling products. This had developed naturally from last term’s focus on technology, developing prototypes and creating products. We decided that a financial literacy focus would be perfect.
We created ‘Aratiatia Cash’ a currency designed especially for our team. Each denomination featured the famous face of one of our Aratiatia teachers. Mrs Farquhar, our principal, got to grace the $100 note. This currency became legal tender within the Aratiatia classrooms for the term. It has been earned by students for many things, including good behaviour, classroom tasks, home reading, spellathon practice and even for each lap of cross country practice.
Mrs Thompson set each of us up with our own bank account on an app called Banqer. We could fill in a bank deposit slip and bank our cash into our account each day. We learned about savings, interest, debt, fines, automatic payments, salaries and much more. Mrs Thompson kindly paid us $300 each just for coming to school. However, our excitement about this suddenly changed when we realised that she was also charging us for things like wifi usage, classroom rental, furniture and tote tray rental, and electricity. These costs came to $280 per week! Quickly, we learned about the reality of paying for expenses.
Banqer website accounts
We brainstormed a list of classroom jobs such as watering plants, wiping tables, putting up chairs etc. Together we decided how much each of these jobs would be worth per week as a salary. This led to interesting discussions around why some jobs are paid more than others. We had to come up with criteria that would make a job worth more, or less. Once the salaries had been decided we were able to apply for jobs. Mrs Thompson encouraged us to apply for as many jobs as possible and gave us application forms to fill in. We learned that you might not get the first job that you apply for. Our job applications included things such as work experience and personality traits that would lend themselves to the job. Mrs Thompson looked over the applications carefully before giving each of us a job. We had automatic payments set up to our bank accounts to pay us for our hard work.
We decided that we would implement fines in our class. This was an interesting discussion about what a fine is and why people give or receive fines. We began fining people for things like leaving the door open and leaving things lying around the classroom. Suddenly our room was toasty warm and sparkly clean!
Another real-life lesson was learned the hard way when someone hacked our bank accounts and withdrew our hard-earned money. This led to very interesting discussions around internet safety and password security. We discovered that this kind of thing happens in real life too, so we have to be careful with security around bank accounts and passwords.
We have set up various things within the classroom to spend our money on. We can buy a table and then charge others to use it. We can pay to bring a soft toy to school with us, or to sit on a cushion for the day. Our favourite way to spend our money is on Friday afternoon. Mrs Thompson has set up ‘Fun Friday’. From 2-3pm we can buy activities from the class menu. These include things like playground time, go-kart rides, board games, sewing machine time, and outdoor games. We had fun deciding how much each activity was worth, but more fun paying for the activities and choosing how we use our money to enjoy our Friday afternoon.
The Aratiatia currency combined with our Banqer bank accounts has taught us so much about money and managing finances. We are looking forward to using the money that we have saved at the end of the term. Each class will hold a real auction to buy toys from a white elephant shop. We’re combining our learning of zero-waste and financial literacy perfectly to end the term!
Our inquiry this term has included learning about different types of jobs. We had an amazing Career Expo at school with people discussing their jobs with us. Everything from firefighters, police officers, coastguard, and air ambulance paramedics, to vets, mortgage brokers, lawyers, scientists, forestry workers and builders. You can see a wonderful video of this day here. We even had the air ambulance land on the field to pick the paramedic up and take him to a call out!
Career expo wonders
Careers day helicopter
Careers day helicopter 2
Careers day coastguard boat
Careers day dog groomer
Careers day hairdresser
Careers day vet
Careers day builder
Careers day police
Each student in the Aratiatia team has decided on a business plan, including logo, product, costs, expected profit etc. They have worked on these businesses all term. A great deal of thought has gone into the products to ensure that they are economical and saleable products. Many of them are also environmentally friendly. We will finish the term by having our own shops set up at our Aratiatia ‘Mall in the Hall’. Please stop by and buy some of our unique handmade items. You can help us raise money for our end of year team trip.
Financial literacy has been integrated into every area of our work this term. We have played money board games, had a visit from a Westpac Bank, read about business, done money maths, written advertisements and business plans, along with designing our own business logos and products.
Playing the Westpac Bank game
Playing the Westpac bank game with Kurt
Money maths WALT