I like to teach money all year long with my first grade class. We live in an era of "virtual money;" ATMs, debit cards, and credit cards, all make it appear that money comes from thin air.
Many of my students have very limited exposure to money. Most do not receive an allowance and some do not have parents who earn a living working. I think it is vital that I teach them that money is earned for working hard. So, my class earns a wage for coming to school on time, helping with a classroom job, and completing homework. They can loose money for being irresponsible; asking to go to the bathroom right after recess or changing their behavior cards for not following directions.
Every week, we count our money from our wallets and trade our nickels, pennies, and dimes for quarters. Once a child has 4 quarters, they trade it once more for a dollar. If you have a dollar, you can purchase items from our classroom store. I like to keep my store items educational so these treasures include books (from my bonus points), pencils (Target dollar section) and lots of 99 Cent Store finds.
These are the wallets I made for the class. It is a pencil box purchased from Staples for $1.00 and a Avery business label. Each wallet has the student's name and number. I think they turned out quite cute. The kids were so excited to get them!