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What Can Students Buy in the Store?
I keep all of the materials for my class store on a 3-tier rolling cart. In addition to the items for sale, the cart contains pens for writing checks and the Merchant Binder (more on that in a bit!).
On the top of the cart is The Prize Box, which contains small prizes such as mechanical pencils, gel pens, smelly erasers, stickers, bouncy balls, etc. Dollar stores are great for finding small prizes for this! Each of these items costs $10 in the store (my students earn $20 per week if they have a job).
The middle shelf of the cart is The Snack Box. It contains a variety of snacks that change throughout the year, but usually includes small bags of Goldfish crackers, Fruit by the Foot, Oatmeal Creme Pies, small packs of Oreos, etc. The dollar store and Costco are my favorite places for finding cheap individually-packed snacks! Each of the snacks cost $20. I like to add special seasonal items sometimes, such as candy canes during winter and mini ice cream sandwiches at the end of the year.
Another option in the store is a soda – these are not on the cart because I keep them in a mini-fridge in my room. I usually survey my students at the beginning of the year to see what kinds they like and then keep around 5 different kinds in stock. They cost $30 each.
On the bottom shelf of the cart, I keep a basket with various passes that the students can buy, including a Late Homework Pass, Gum Pass, Locker Pass, Choose Your Seat Pass, Teacher’s Chair Pass, Music Pass, and Lunch With the Teacher Pass. These range in price from $20-$70. I try to encourage students to buy these passes because they cost me nothing! You can get a fully editable version of these passes in my TpT store.
The big prize that students can save up for if they choose to is a Blizzard from Dairy Queen! It costs $300, which means students have to have a job and save up for months in order to get it. I usually have around 10 students throughout the course of the year who save up to purchase the Blizzard.
You can get a free editable copy of my Price List in my TpT store here!
How Does the Store Work?
After depositing their money in the bank on Thursday, students can spend their money in the class store on Friday. The only way they can spend money is if it has been deposited in the bank. If they have paychecks that have not been deposited on Friday, they will have to wait until the following week when the bank is open again.
One of my classroom jobs is the merchant, and this person runs the store each Friday. Like the bank, we usually open the store during independent work time towards the end of class.
When they enter the classroom on Fridays, students who want to visit the merchant write their names in a list on the front whiteboard. When the store opens, the merchant calls the students from the list over one or two at a time. The students let the merchant know what they want to purchase and then write out a check from their checkbook to pay for their purchases. After receiving the check, the merchant gathers the items and gives them to the student.
At the end of the store, the merchant gives all the checks to me. I then give them to the class banker to enter into the bank as withdrawals (read more about my banking system here).
Another important part of the merchant’s job is keeping track of purchases on a tracking sheet (free in my TpT store). I keep a Merchant Binder that has a section for each class period. The merchant writes down each person’s name under the item purchased so that we can see trends in sales. At the end of the month, the merchant gives me a report about what was popular and what was not.
And that wraps up my Classroom Economy blog series! If you have any questions I haven’t addressed yet, please ask in the comments!
Other posts in the classroom economy series: