Once you collect all the students' applications and any needed recommendations, take a few days to plan the job assignments. It's best to make the assignments in class about a week after the students apply.
- To simplify the assignment process, start with the least-requested jobs. For example, if only two students put "Messenger" on their applications, then you know immediately who your Messengers will be.
- Use the recommendations to help you decide on the Bankers. Because Bankers have such a critical role in the classroom economy, you'll want to be sure that each of them is qualified to handle the job.
For the Bankers and Fine Officers, you need to decide which students will be their "clients." They should be assigned four to six students each. (It's a good idea to use the same groups for each purpose, so that the same set of students would share a Fine Officer and a Banker.)
For each Fine Officer, prepare a folder listing the names of his or her clients. Put some blank fine tickets in the folder.
For each Banker, prepare a folder listing the clients' names and containing the following items:
- 1 envelope per client to hold that student's bank slips and checks.
- 1 additional envelope to hold cash.
- 1 bank log per client.
- 3 unpaid bill notices.
- 8 bank slips.
Prepare a simple job offer letter for each student. (Our template has blanks for the job title and the student's name.)
Finally, plan an assignment that students can work on quietly at their seats. While the class works, you'll be able to train small groups of students on their job responsibilities.
Inform the students that they'll receive their job assignments today and will start earning their salaries.
Deliver the job offer letters. Each student should sign the letter and place it in his or her folder.
Next, train students for their jobs:
- Help the class to begin the assignment you prepared.
- Pull students aside for training according to their job titles (i.e., train the Bankers together, then the Fine Officers, then the Messengers, and so on). Take the students through each of their job responsibilities, giving them examples of what they would do.
Note: After you review the business license requests, we recommend meeting with the students individually to briefly discuss your expectations about how the business will be conducted in your classroom. You can do this at any convenient time over the next few weeks.
Here are tips for teaching three of the more complicated jobs.
- Show them where you will keep the offense log. Explain how they will check it on Ticket Day to see whether any of their clients have committed infractions.
- Show how to fill out a fine ticket.
- Explain that students will be bringing their fine money to the Fine Officers, and show the Officers where to put the returned fine tickets and cash.
- Show them how to update the offense log once a fine is paid.
- Explain to the Bankers that they will have a bank log and an envelope for each client, and that they should label these clearly with the students' names.
- Explain that the bank log they hold for each student should always match the student's own bank log. If the balances do not match, then the Banker and the client must work together to figure out why.
- Offer an example of a bank log showing entries for deposits, withdrawals, and balances. Explain how the Bankers will manage their logs by adding deposits and subtracting withdrawals.
- Explain that each Banker should keep about $2,000 in cash on hand in case clients want to make withdrawals. Any extra cash should go into the classroom cash box, which you can show them.
- Explain to the Class Banker that he or she will keep a log of all of the money that goes in and out of the classroom cash box, including withdrawals and deposits from the Bankers and the teacher.
- Explain how to use the Class Banker's log. Provide an example of a log showing entries for deposits, withdrawals, and balances.
If time allows, you may want to have all the students practice a bank transaction. For example, you could have each student deposit $200, and then withdraw that $200. (Afterward, you might let them keep the money as a bonus for good behavior.)