Swap and Barter Day

Swap and Barter Day is a great opportunity for students to explore the alternative ways that goods can be shared in a society.

With our big focus on currency for BIStopia it is essential that we expand student perception of exchange to stretch beyond concrete currency, to discuss “exchange”. A “swap” focuses on exchange of goods that are seen as equivalent and the “barter” means that conversation and discussion form a key part of the process as the balance of the exchange is negotiated between the two people.

How does it work?

Each student is invited to bring along the subject of Barter ( books or toys and clothes as well). Each Child can bring along 5 items to swap. We encourage students to bring along some larger items as well as smaller. Also to consider bringing objects they consider may be very popular as well as some that may not be quite as popular. They need to check the items with Mum and Dad before packing them. They need to be packed in a bag that can be separated from their normal school bag as once they get to school with their goods the bag is collected by their Basecamp teacher to keep the treasures safely in the classroom.

At Morning Tea or Lunch, each Basecamp sets up desks for every child to have an area to themselves. They can then spread out their goods. No one swaps yet, this is just perusal time. The Basecamp teacher also sets up the “Cooling Off Table”. The Cooling Off Table is where all swaps are left for 5 minutes in case someone changes their mind. The teacher oversees the Cooling Off Table to ensure that when the 5 minutes are up the exchange is finalised.

Sometimes negotiations can get a bit frenzied and children may feel pressured to swap when they don’t want to. The teachers will do their very best to intercede if any swaps look unfair or based on pressure. The Swap and Barter Day is formally started by the teachers and stopped after 20 minutes.

How can you help?

Make sure that your child only brings in things that they are happy swapping. If they find it hard to talk for themselves see if you can role play it at home to support them in their negotiations.

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