Kendall Flutey

Transforming a classroom into an Economy

Every chance I get I love to get out of Banqer HQ and into some of our amazing Banqer classrooms across New Zealand. Every visit I learn something new about Banqer, because Banqer is simply a tool. It doesn't come to life until it's in the hands of you, our teachers. We can build Banqer one way, but that doesn't mean it'll be used that way. School visits give me the opportunity to see exactly how Banqer is interpreted and used, and how we can better support this.This morning I was blown away by my visit to Linwood Ave School here in Christchurch. I spend a couple of hours with room 10 and couldn't believe how Banqer was being brought to life in front of my eyes.The first thing that stood out for me was the classroom structure. Banqer had infiltrated a lot of their classroom systems and this was all articulated on the wall in their 'Classroom Economy'. Classroom jobs were monetized and we distributed these this morning. We read out what the job entailed and the kids just put their hand up if they wanted it. We then wrote their name on the wall next to the job title. If no student wanted to do a particularly mundane task then the wage was raised until we got a volunteer. This process took place once a term and took about 10 minutes to complete.Now that income was sorted the kids had a chance to rent some of the classroom equipment. A fast fire mini auction (taking no longer than 5 minutes) saw students bidding on the ownership of the couches and beanbags for the week. The bidding was fast and frantic and some students teamed up to afford the luxury for the week. This happens every Monday morning.At the same time, some of the 'Student Tellers/Accountants' were settling bills and making payments on behalf of the teacher. This again reduces the workload of teachers and gives additional responsibility to trustworthy students.Today was also a really cool day to be visiting as we launched Property Insurance in the class. Students have been able to buy property since the start of term three, and around ten kids already own houses. This meant now was the perfect time to introduce Insurance. We talked about insurance for about 10 mins before walking through the application process (via one of the students accounts on the projector). The students are given a one week grace period before they would be expected to insure if they want to - after that is open season for natural disasters. We then all broke off to have a bit of free time on Banqer, where I learned that a few of the kids wanted to join forces to buy a property. The way they were currently doing it was have one student purchase through their account and the other students would make payments across when needed. This can get messy so what Mr Hill and me did instead was create an entire new student and gave it the name these boys chose as their name; "Broski Investments". This generated a new username and password, and all students now had access to it - a bit like a joint account. This just keeps everything simpler and cleaner overtime. When students do buy property in Room ten they get to stick their house up on the city map. And when they insure their property they get to decide on some of the characteristics of that property. If in their insurance form they say they have a swimming pool then they get to add this to the wall map - these small things really bring Banqer to life.Overall I was chuffed to see how engaged the students were. I also took a bit out of it in terms of some improvements that could be made from our end that would make life simpler for everyone using Banqer.Thanks for having me Linwood Ave school & I can't wait to hear how the first natural disaster goes... Let's hope you're all insured :)