Posted Date: 09/16/2019
COPPERAS COVE, TX (Sept. 20, 2019)—Many of today’s cash registers show in the window how much money is due back to the customer when the cashier is making change for a transaction. The end result is that many of today’s workers have difficulty adding, subtracting and demonstrating simple skills as it relates to money.
Copperas Cove ISD teaches its students financial literacy, how to budget, plan, spend, and save. Clements/Parsons Elementary special education students receive hands-on lessons to apply what they are learning.
“Real world application of classroom-taught skills is a key component to teaching all kids, but especially our students with autism. Students that have a more concrete way of thinking benefit greatly from allowing them to apply their strategies,” teacher Tamara Daugherty said.
During lessons in the financial literacy unit, students will have the opportunity to learn to calculate cost, profit and marketing and sales skills. Daugherty and her team hosted a pilot program at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
"We want our students to have real life experience with money. We came up with the idea of having them sell snacks to teachers to help with the understanding of how money works,” Daugherty said. “Students had goods to sell and would let the teachers know how much items cost. The students collect the money and make change. Students are able to interact with real money and this makes an impression on their learning."
Through the pilot program, students circulated through the campus selling snacks to staff members on three separate occasions. The students learned to take the orders, retrieve the food, share with the customer the total amount of money due, and then make the correct amount of change. The students raised over $300 from the three sales. As a reward, the teachers spent the money on treats, bubbles, and other games for the students.
“Giving the students opportunities not only to interact with peers, but also adults, is critical in social skills development,” Daugherty said. “Being able to combine multiple lessons into one is what the special education department strives for. Clements/Parsons Elementary staff members have helped create an amazing environment that allows all students to grow in both academic and social situations.”
Principal Katherine Baney said the staff are always working diligently to bring new ideas to the curriculum, one being the snack sale.
“The students are so excited to offer staff members treats while at the same time learning about counting change, exchanging money for goods, and practicing communication skills with peers and adults,” Baney said. “It truly is magical watching how excited both students and staff are when the snack sale comes around campus.”