The Piggybank Project

The Piggybank Project was started by the Primary 2 students during Term 3 of the last academic year 2015/2016. The idea was conceived by their Form Tutor Ms Angel C. Caparas after they had finished the Mathematics chapter on “Money”. The objectives of this project were:

  1. to reinforce the knowledge that they have learnt about counting money in class
  2. making the lessons relatable in real-life scenario by making a purchase and counting money in the process
  3. to impart basic financial education for the students

Financial literacy is a fundamental part of the education system that is often left out of the classroom. It is only through financial education that students are able to discover the relationships between earning, saving and spending. Through learning about money, the students will begin to have an appreciation and understanding about the value of money. Educating the young about money can start with the very basics such as counting money, saving money (in a piggybank), making plans of what they can buy with their savings (budgeting) and making actual purchase in a shop (spending). During purchase, students can learn about the change that they are to receive with the amount that they paid. These important basic financial knowledge was very cleverly incorporated by Ms. Caparas in their Piggybank Project for the Primary 2 students.

Saving

At the start of this project, students were asked to bring a piggybank to class and they were given time to decorate it. After which, for the following ten weeks, students were encouraged to save part of their daily allowance in their piggybank.

Counting

At the end of 10 weeks, students were tasked to count the amount that they have saved in their piggybanks. Ms Caparas would go around to ensure that the students have counted correctly and for students who counted wrongly, Ms Caparas would recount it together with the student to review the counting process. This will help to boost the students’ confidence and ability in counting.

Budgeting

The next step was for the students to plan on what they wished to use the money for or possible things that they wanted to buy for someone that they care about (i.e. family, friends or teachers).  In their list, they allocated some money for the items that they wish to buy.

Spending

As a class, they visited a local supermarket to purchase some things that were in their shopping list. At the supermarket students spread out to check the price of the items that they wished to buy. For items that were within their allocated budget, students would happily put it in their basket. As for those that exceed their budget, they were given this advice to consider:

  1. do they absolutely need to buy it? Can they do without the item?
  2. if so, can they compromise to buy less items on their list?

Finally, the students took their baskets to the cashier and make payments individually. At the cashier they would have to decide on how much money to give to the cashier based on the total amount and made quick calculation of how much change they should expect in return.

It is evident from the smiles and happy faces of the student that they enjoyed shopping! The whole experience from the Piggybank Project would have given them invaluable lessons on mathematics and financial literacy.

Written by Dr. Peter Darmawan

Dr Peter received his PhD degree from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. Having spent 23 years in Singapore, he has been through the rigorous and robust Singapore education system with exposure from primary school right up to university education. In addition, he has spent 2 years of post-doctoral research fellowship in National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) Japan and another 3 years as a Research Fellow in Singapore under the NEW-CREATE Programme. As a scientist, Dr Peter has written numerous peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters and filed a number of patents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s