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What They're Doing in Fourth Grade

September 4th, 2014 at 03:38 pm

Fourth grade is the best at F's school - the teacher is amazing and they put a big emphasis on personal responsibility and organization. They actually teach the kids how to plan and organize rather than just expect them to figure it out. Each child gets a day planner and that's where they record and track their homework assignments (F is upstairs doing homework right now). Oh - and parents aren't supposed to help (if we do, our children need to make a note in their homework so that the teachers know there was some difficulty withe the problem).

And, there's the TeacherBank. Each child has a bank account at TeacherBank, and a checkbook. They had a homework assignment where they learned to write checks and keep a check register.

They are paid 100 TeacherBucks for the job that they do (these rotate monthly). And they have to "rent" their desks for 25 TeacherBucks a month.

They have to "buy" supplies with TeacherBucks, and they are fined if they blurt out or fail to push in their chairs.

At the end of the year, they all bring in toys and things they don't want anymore, and there is an auction so that they can use their leftover TeacherBucks to buy things.

Starting them young on the road to financial common sense!

The huge emphasis on responsibility is really great. In fact, F has been putting her lunch box an water bottle up on the wall, too. And they also have Kindergarten buddies (so they get to the be the older big buddies to smaller children). F adores her little buddy; he loves soccer just like she does, and his favorite food is "dessert!" She keeps saying "He's soooo cute!"

I am impressed on how the school has handled the transition from year to year, giving the kids more responsibility and also more freedom; it's all incremental so it feels totally natural. By 6th grade, they'll be leading the all-school meetings and bringing the hot lunches to the younger kids when it's snowing outside.

7 Responses to “What They're Doing in Fourth Grade”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    My girls had planners about that age and definitely did money thing for jobs just like you described...even the toys they buy at year end. Smile

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Ugh, I *hate* 4th grade. Have one 4th grader this year and had one in 4th grade 2 years ago, so I know what to expect. It was the biggest noticeable jump in responsibility. What is so awful about it though is the endless monthly projects (that the kids need a lot of help with early on). Is the only grade that has been like that, and it seems like a big jump. Overall, the 4th grade sounds very similar to yours. But hopefully you don't have all the big nasty projects!

    Your post reminds me that my 5th grade teacher did something similar and the auction was so fun and memorable!

  3. Bluebird Says:

    My fourth grader is doing the same thing with the day planner. I think it's great, too! We've had several years with projects that need parental help, not my favorite thing to do.

  4. Kiki Says:

    I remember in 4th grade at my elementary school we actually opened savings accounts with a local bank. We had to open the account with $2. I worked my tail off to earn that opening deposit. Then we could deposit any amount over $1 each week. I didn't earn an allowance and was raised by a single mom with three older siblings. There was never any money to do anything so I would deposit change found on the ground, money earned from my sisters (like 10 cents for taking out the trash on their weeks, 25 cents for drying and putting away the dishes on their evenings), etc. It worked well for me and was the only way I could earn money to save at 9 years old.

    By the end of the year I had almost $100! Mom was shocked. I kept that account until I was 15 and opened a checking account at the bank where my sister worked. I have had the same checking account for 25 years.

  5. Buendia Says:

    Wow! I love it! Love the idea of it being real, too. I might take F to the bank (we have a very nice local bank where they know me and give biscuits to our dog). I wish there was some form of interest; they should do 3% or something for kids up to a certain amount, don't you think?

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    There are banks and CUs that give kids higher interest rates. I would look around. We have a local CU that pays 7% on first $500. (That's the best I have seen, so I guess we are just lucky!). I maybe saw 10% but there was some hoops we wouldn't have been able to jump through on that one.

  7. PNWMom Says:

    That is really cool.....I love this!

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