Monthly Archives: December 2010

Earn & Learn



Another post I’ve been meaning to finish off for a while. This topic came about following a conversation I was having on twitter with another teacher about creating online bank accounts for students.

Earn and Learn is a financial awareness program developed by Rob Vingerhoets. This program sees students operate in a way similar to a small town or community.

Initially, students receive a base weekly payment for the work they complete. Students who undertake leadership roles or have extra responsibilities within the classroom are able to receive additional payments. Such resposnibilities might include taking the lunch orders to the canteen, cleaning the class library, setting up the computers, turning on and off the lights when we enter and leave our room.

Students also pay tax through the money they earn, make weekly “rent” payments for their seat and locker, take out insurance policies against forgetting their homework or receving an injury, contribute to superannuation and make purchases. Students operate businesses within the classroom and organise their finances through credit, debit and cheque accounts at our class bank.

This book was originally published in 1990’s and utilises a lot of black line masters. Wanting to incorporate 21st century learning, I took many aspects of this and transfered them across to computers; the main one being the setup of the students banking accounts through a series of excel spreadsheets. Students also created sales ledgers and the sign writer used publisher to create the signs for the various businesses  (I don’t have 1:1 in my school, but imagine the possibilities !)

This program encompasses many domains of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and reflects a variety of attributes of PoLT. Students need to ensure that necessary documentation is completed each week to ensure they are paid; this encourages and supports students to take responsibility for their learning (Principle 2.1). Students work together in teams to manage and operate their businesses and to seek support and clarification; this uses strategies that build skills of productive collaboration (Principle 2.2). Students use their visual art skills and publishing applications to generate signage for their businesses. Spreadsheet applications are used to monitor their income and expenditure. This capitalises on students’ experience of a technology rich world and has students using technologies in ways that reflect professional and community practices (Principle 3.4 & 6.3)

Since introducing this program, student attendance figures within my class increased, and quality of work and assessment results improved. I have also supported colleagues to implement this program within their classes. As a collective, we are now discussing the strengths and weaknesses of this program and looking at how we can develop this program as we move towards an open plan learning environment for the following year. This links with our school Annual Implementation Plan goal of increasing student motivation towards learning….

It’s been great fun !

Do you run Earn & Learn in your classroom ?
Have you made modifications to the program to suit your needs ?
How have you incorporated the use of ICT to assist you in managing the program ?

Goodbye to the Computer Man

Holidays. Now that the madness of school is well and truly behind us and Christmas is out of the way, I’ve had a chance to go through some of the  loose ends that I just didn’t get round to in that final week.

In addition to printing off the whole schools reports, constructing and collating the yearbook and graduation slideshow and organising the election for next years student leaders, I managed to pack up my classroom and prepare for a move in schools. Next year I will be taking on a ICT Specialist Teaching role at a brand new school.

Amongst the chaos of the last week, I was fortunate that the staff took time to organise a special celebration for me and the other staff taking on positions at new schools in 2011. In addition to some lovely gifts, the song below was written by the staff at my school as part of my farewell.

To the tune of “Piano Man” by Billy Joel

It’s 9 o’clock on a Monday
The regular kids shuffle in
And Scott’s standing there at the Smartboard
Waiting for class to begin

He says, students please go on the internet
Make sure it’s a suitable site
Coz I know where you go, when you think I don’t know
So make sure your choices are right

Fix my machine, you’re the computer man,
Fix it for me right now !
If it’s not done for me, but the time that I leave,
I’ll ask Jenny and she’ll show me how.

Now Daniel the tech is a friend of Scott’s,
He helps him with all things I.T.
Just write in the book and he’ll take a look
But there’s some place that he’d rather be

He says, Scott I believe this is killing me,
And the smile ran away from his face.
And now that you’re leavin’, I’m really grieving
So I’m getting out of this place !

La La de de dahhhh, La la de de dahhhhhh

Fix my machine, you’re the computer man,
Fix it for me right now !
If it’s not done for me, but the time that I leave,
I’ll ask Jenny and she’ll show me how.

Now Scott is an excelent teacher
Who never gets into strife,
But he’s talking to Amy
Who’s driving him crazy
And probably will do for life !

Every morning he eats his cereal
He prepared the evening before
And his lunchbox so neat
So increadibly sweet
These things about him we adore

Fix my machine, you’re the computer man,
Fix it for me right now !
If it’s not done for me, but the time that I leave,
I’ll ask Jenny and she’ll show me how.

Oh Scott, we will never forget you
And all the fun things that you do
And the way that you wiggle
When you start to giggle
It won’t be the same without you.

Are you moving schools next year ?
What unique traditions or customs does your school have for new staff, staff leaving or for other occasions  ?