Back when I did the GT training for our school district my fabulous training partner Vicki
and I came across an idea that we LOVED and shared in every workshop
we taught called
The Dollar Deal.
The idea is adapted from an idea by Laurie Westphal in
her book Differentiating Instruction with Menus (which is SUPER fabulous!).
Basically The Dollar Deal is a deal you have students and their parents agree
to that levels the playing field for projects or products.
In our district we have students at both end of the socio-economic spectrum-
kids from VERY wealthy familes and those from SERIOUS poverty.
As a teacher, when assignments were turned in -
the disparity between the projects I received was HUGE.
Kids who parents that could take them to Hobby Lobby
and spend a ridiculous amount of money on a project,
did so and their projects looked beautiful and sometimes downright professional!
In stark contrast, those students who did NOT have parents who
could afford to take them to Hobby Lobby and spend a ton of money-
and instead had to scrounge up whatever they could find at home or school,
had projects that looked greatly different.
When you put those projects side by side it was hard not to think of one as
a GREAT project and one as a sub par project-
regardless of if the learning that occurred and the content included was the same.
And that? Is just crazy.
The Dollar Deal equalizes the resources the students have and levels the playing field.
So, how does it work?
- Explain the idea to your students. They and their parents must sign an agreement stating that they will not spend more than $1 on the product he or she created.
- Allow students to use things they can find in your classroom or that are FREE.
- Have students turn in the signed form when they turn in their assignment/project.
What are the benefits of The Dollar Deal?
- It limits the amount of money a child can spend which creates a more level playing field for your students.
- It encourages CREATIVITY! When students are limited by the amount of materials they can inexpensively purchase or find, they often have to use materials from school and home in new and unique ways!
Click HERE to download and print your own copy of The Dollar Deal!