Credits and debits are adding up in the classroom economy Page Image Image CaptionLoganlea SHS students learning financial literacy through classroom economy. Page ContentStudents at Loganlea State High School's Learning Engagement Centre have developed valuable life skills while learning to build financial capability.In a program that reflects how a real economy works, students have been earning a salary, paying bills, saving money and making purchases at the classroom shop.Following the department's participation in ASIC's MoneySmart Teaching program, the Classroom Economy was designed to: align with the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics improve mathematical understandings and financial literacy help students become smart consumers.Andreana Walters, Curriculum Support Coordinator, says that engaging students in exciting hands-on activities has enabled them to develop good personal spending and saving habits.From a teamwork perspective, Ms Walters says the program has also helped students to work collaboratively and build good relationships with each other."Working together to negotiate the value of items in the classroom shop helps students to understand what is important to others. This builds empathy and encourages each student to think about what is really important to them," Ms Walters said.Jackie Forster, Head of Department for Inclusion, says the benefits of the program extend beyond financial management and improved numeracy."The Classroom Economy is not just about financial literacy. We have seen improvements in attendance as students must attend school every day to earn a salary," Ms Forster said."The program has also had a positive impact on behaviour with students modelling good behaviour to their peers in order to earn bonuses."News of the program's success is spreading and Ms Forster is exploring the possibilities of transferring the initiative to other learning areas."Having seen the positive outcomes of the program on attendance and behaviour, other staff have shown a keen interest and are looking at ways in which the classroom economy can be used in their classrooms," she said."Being a flexible program, it could easily be incorporated into other curriculum areas or adjusted to suit the needs of students at any year or ability level in various classroom contexts."