Category Archives: Economics

Bulldog Buck Store

Here is a long awaited look at our Bulldog Buck Store.  The children can earn Bulldog Bucks (our mascot is the Bulldog) and can spend them each Friday at our store.  Families donate items (Happy Meal Toys, birthday party items, etc.) and the children “shop” for them.

The Gingerbread Man 2009

Here is a look at what we have been doing during December. I know this is a rather short post, but you will see below where you can get more ideas!  BTW, if you like the idea of doing this with your own class room, I am putting a button on my Kristen’s Kindergarten Store blog for you to purchase the GBM Kit complete with the letters that the GBM left for the children, a book list, supply list, a GBM store “shopping list”, and a resource list  where you can get more ideas.  The cost will be $15.00 plus $2.00 shipping or just $15.00 if you would like them e-mailed to you as a PDF file.

I’ll also be adding some materials from the winter Farmer’s Market workshop I did and will be presenting in the weeks to come (that will be in my next post).

On with the GBM!! 🙂

You can also reference the GBM things I posted last year.  I kept everything mostly the same, but changed the letters that the children received significantly.  This post will be mostly just pictures with the new things I added:

This is our GBM Store.  The children worked very hard for the week and a half before this store to earn lots of Bulldog Bucks (our Kindergarten currency).  The children could then purchase their GBM felt cutout and items to glue on to their GBM.  I had two wonderful parent helpers come in and hot glue all the items on so the children could take them home the same day.

You can click on the picture for a larger view.

These are pictures from our GBM spoon chase that helps us work on retelling.  I copied the pictures from the Mailbox Magazine’s December Grades 1-3 book about 8 years ago and laminated them and taped them on to these spoons I purchased from the Dollar Tree.  We retell the story and pass the spoons around the circle, adding characters as needed.

This is a sampling of the books that we read during our GBM theme.  When you purchase the kit, you will get the list in its entirety as well as many others.  I ordered all of them from and received most of them within a week.  I think 10 books cost me $40, so if you don’t mind a gently used copy, it’s a good way to get them for your classroom library!

Again, search my blog for what we did last year…I like it at this point and will only be posting new things I add for this theme each year.  One of my colleagues had children in her room who celebrated many different holidays and could not get to them all, so instead, she had the GBM visit other countries and the children learned about those countries from folk/and fairy tales tied to those regions! 🙂  What a great alternative! 🙂  I will have to try it some year! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

GBM Question/Review…

I got a few questions from Becky about my thoughts on the GBM: Holidays Around the World Unit that I completed and wanted to share my responses as well as some more ideas that I may use next year:

Q: Hi Kristen,
Thanks so much for your wonderful ideas! I check your blog often and get many great ideas. I love the gingerbread man twist on holidays around the world unit! I have done both of these units seperately in the past and was wondering how you liked it this year? Reflecting on the experience, are there things you would do differently? I am working on making up my unit for next year while it is all fresh and just wanted input from someone who has done it like this. Also- your Brazilian bird project… was there a link for the pattern? Did the finished project work out okay? You had mentioned something about them not drying as well as you anticipated. One more question- sorry this is long- what did you do for Australia? Thanks so much for your input/ ideas/ willingness to share!!!!!

A: I loved this whole unit and will definitely be doing it again next year.  I really liked how I could get both things in and give both topics the time I think they should have devoted to them.  Intertwining them helped to save time, but also make it exciting for the children and they looked forward to everyday, coming in and finding a new package.  I’ll also be working to get boxes and bubble wrap envelopes together to vary the packages.  I’ll also post a shopping list soon of everything I purchased from the grocery to make it all happen! 🙂
Suggestions….I think I would have more community members or staff members find packages and deliver them–I want the kids to get to know areas around our school a little better too–It could almost be an Around the School theme within a Holidays Around The World theme.
I would also spread it out over more time–because of the point when I got the idea, I could not start as early as I wanted to.
I also need to rework the beginning. I would love for the GBM to either be cookies baked and shaped by the kids or have a package delivered from the beginning.
Because my kids took this in a CSI direction, this year, it would also be fun to get the police/security persons in and help take a description of the GBM.
In an economics workshop I took this summer, it was suggested that you could interview members of the community and video tape the. You could ask them questions about economic concepts (scarcity, abundance, production, loan, etc.) and then ask them if the GBM had been there (bank, car dealer, grocery store, etc.–think–places you use/get money/do business.
Also, bringing the police in would help to reassure the children that even though they could go missing, we will never stop looking for them–you could also get them all fingerprinted and photographed at that point too.
I would have also loved to have gotten to decorating the felt GBM that I cut out and that I was going to have the children earn our classroom Bull Dog Bucks towards–starting earlier would have helped, but we just never got there!
I’ll be beefing up the basic idea and adding/taking away some new things this year and into the summer. More books, crafts that work, letters that are written better and with more age level content.
A note about the Brazilian birds: I found the pattern by googling “brazilian/toucan bird pattern”. I found it on a site that had rainforest links for kids and was somehow tied to a play in a particular community–but I can’t find it now! ) I would recommend not painting them with vegetable oil–it was a mess, didn’t dry well, and didn’t really look any different than the birds that weren’t painted! )

I would also include more writing, and GBM related math.

For Australia we got our letter, and included were items to make an Australian bellflower.  I took pictures and thought I posted them, but I can’t find them on the blog right now.  I think they may be on my computer at school.  Basically, you take one of those paper condiment cups and glue yellow petals around the open bottom lip and then glue two green leaves on the top.  We punched a hole in the top (really the bottom) of the cup and strung a bell on a piece of yarn and threaded it through to make a “bellflower!”.  Again, I’ll post pictures when I’m back at school 🙂  We also talked about how Santa rides in to Australia on a surfboard and is pulled by white kangaroos.  I’m sure that there is some site out there with more information-so I’ll be working to find it! 🙂

I hope this helps and I’ll post it on the main page as well!
If you have anymore questions, please ask–I’m more than willing to share what I know to help others or spark something in you! )

Character Creations

I had a question about this and I knew I needed to come back and elaborate more on it…..

Each year in my room as I guess an addendum to our regular “store” we have a Character Creations store.  It’s basically like a dumbed down version of Build A Bear! 🙂

I begin by choosing a theme–I usually start with the GIngerbread Man, but you could use it for any character.  I use the veggie trays from the Dollar Tree (you know the ones that are circle shaped and you put dip in the middle and veggies around the outside?).  I cut out gingerbread people from rectangles of felt (usually the light brown color) and then add items that the kids can buy with their mini-economy money in the spaces in the veggie tray.  I cut apart sequin rick-rack, rainbow rick-rack, and yarn.  I also get pom-pom balls in different sizes and colors.  There are also wiggle eyes (some with eye lashes and some without).  I pretty much go to my craft closest and what ever is there gets put into the spaces in the veggie trays.

I then call the children over 2-3 at a time (a parent helper is great for this!) and they can use all or little of their mini-economy money to purchase items to decorate their gingerbread person.  I have a colleague who does this with her children and then they get to stuff them and make them into pillow people! 🙂  They are SOOOO cute!

I use that Aleene’s Tacky Glue to have the children glue on their objects so they will stay on–regular glue just doesn’t work.  Some years I have charged for the rental of the glue bottles or charged the children to use my glue–just to show them what their parents have to pay for at the Build A Bear! 🙂

It’s a fun time and we display them in the hallway. It’s a great lesson for Math–counting out money, making change, etc.

Can you think of any other characters this would be cute for?  I could see using it for the 3 Little Pigs and decorating their homes with different materials!

Kristen 🙂

Mini Economy Classroom Job Cards

Here are the cards I made to use in a pocket chart for our Mini-Economy Jobs.  You print them out on business cards and then tear them apart.  I would suggest laminating them before you tear them apart-or you could do what I did–laminate each individual one! 😦  I hope they save okay and download okay!  Let me know if they come out funny and I will try to find a way to fix them!

Kristen 🙂


Kindergarten Economic Unit

I decided to tie in economic principles into my Monarch Butterfly theme.  The lessons are pretty self explanatory, and will only take 20 minutes for one week to teach.  Give them a try!  What’s wrong with teaching your Kinder. kids how to make effective choices, state their opportunity cost, and understand scarcity and supply and demand?  It’s how the world works and by the time these kiddos grow up, our entire world will be internationally related! 🙂


P.S. When you download the pages, they are out of order.  I typed the lessons first, then the cover page, then the Indiana Standards Page, and then the assessment and bibliography.  It should be: cover page, standards, lessons, assessment, bibliography.

Updated Job Application for Kinders.

After attending the Economy workshop last week and into this next week, I’ve made a change to the job application; I wanted to have the children make some choices in the jobs that they want, and wanted to make sure they didn’t have to choose one job exclusively.  There are now lines for them to choose 3 jobs–they will start with one and rotate through the others to make sure they have more than one experience.  My Kinder. kids will probably start the year using a rotation model–I will have “x” amount of jobs and they will do the jobs for 1 week at a time.  Then each Friday, they will be responsible for training the new person who will do their job.  I only have to train for jobs once that way, even if a new student comes in mid-year the person who currently has a job will show them the ropes-so to speak!


I will also be working on some job card pictures to put next to their names in a pocket chart.  I’m pretty sure I will have a pocket chart on a tall garment rack and then put two columns of jobs, one on the left and one in the middle.  I will put some colored electrical tape down the center to help with confusion of columns.  I will start them off with a job (1st of 2nd choice) that they would like and then move their name down the chart one space each week until we’ve been through the whole rotation.  The only time jobs would change is if I had to add a job or take a job away for seasonal reasons.  There is a list of the jobs I will have included in this application file, as well as a slip for fines, Random Acts of Kindness, job descriptions for the oddly named jobs, and then the application itself, with an area for “teacher use only!”

Enjoy and let me know if you have anymore jobs I should add to the list!

Kristen 🙂

Economics Workshop

I’ve been enjoying this workshop I’m taking-the teacher, Mo, is from Iran, but he’s lived here for 25 years or so and he is one of the smartest people I think I’ve ever met! Who knew that learning about Economics could be so fun and entertaining!?!  We are working on projects to earn 3 credit hours for license renewal, and they have to be lessons that teach economic concepts, but can incorporate other subjects as well.  I’ll post mine when I’m done, but the basic premise is that we will be learning about the “scarcity” of milkweed plants for the Monarch Butterflies and Caterpillars.

I’ve also learned a lot of ideas about the Mini-Economy.  I left my notes in my workshop room, so I’ll post those tomorrow.  Without getting too political–I’ve learned a lot about this “war” we are fighting and many facts that make me wonder why we are not more upset with our president and demanding that we not withdraw troops sooner.  Anyway, it’s been interesting to hear things from a more economic view, and ACTUALLY understand them!  I’ve learned a lot, not just to share with my Kinder. kids, but things I should be doing myself economically!

Kristen 🙂

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