7Mar, 2017

Flash Survey Results! Technology in Schools

By |March 7th, 2017|Flash Surveys, Survey Results|

Long-time fans of NGPF will have noticed that we distributed this survey in July 2015. We were curious to compare the results: how has technology in schools changed in the last 18 months?

7Mar, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To NGPF’s Jessica Endlich About How To Teach Investing In 2 Hours

By |March 7th, 2017|Investing, Lesson Idea, Podcasts|


We like to try different things at NGPF so this week we decided to take a new tack with the podcast and use it to discuss a recent lesson we created, “Teach Investing in 2 Hours.” The lesson’s title matches its goal to teach students in a compressed time frame enough so that they could confidently make a wise choice for their 401(k) (or other retirement) plan. We have heard time and again from educators that investing is the most difficult topic for them to teach their students. The seemingly innumerable investing options (where do I start and end?), the confusing jargon (how do I explain a P/E ratio to a novice investor?) and the lack of experience (I need to be able to manage my own investments before I can teach others) all hinder their performance. With the world moving away from defined benefit plans (pensions) toward DIY  or defined contribution plans, young people need to understand that their investment choices will impact their options, such as when they will be able to retire. We had fun developing this lesson and hope this podcast piques your interest enough to try

7Mar, 2017

Thirty (30!) Spanish Activities Now Available

By |March 7th, 2017|Activity, Credit Cards, Credit Scores, New Products, Teaching Strategies|

In case you missed it in January, NGPF has heard the call, and we’re beginning to translate our original activities and projects into Spanish for use with your English Language Learners. Don’t worry — we’re not relying on my own poor command of the Spanish language (muy malo) — we’ve hired an awesome translator who is working through our resources in batches of 10. With two batches now complete, we’ve got 30 activities/projects across Checking, Saving, Budgeting, Types of Credit, Managing Credit, and Investing, ready for use!

How to access the Spanish translations (3 methods):

  1. Bookmark this directory page for links directly to the Spanish and corresponding English versions of the Google docs
  2. On our website, look for activities and projects with (Sp) following their title — that denotes the resource is available in Spanish  Spanish screenshot
  3. On individual activities or projects, look for the words Spanish Version under the header and click to open the translation.   Spanish version


Are Spanish translations going to be a game changer in your classroom? Can you just not wait for us to release more?

6Mar, 2017

Interactive: What’s the S&P500?

By |March 6th, 2017|Current Events, Index Funds, Interactive, Investing, Math, Mutual Funds, Stocks|

Here’s a great interactive for students who struggle with the concept of the S&P500 or of an index or mutual fund. For a math teacher, this interactive would be percentage heaven! I blogged about this in October 2014 when most of you were NOT reading this blog so definitely worthy of a repeat post. I have added better questions for your students to answer too. From comes this great visualization of the S&P500:

Here’s a description of what you are looking at:

6Mar, 2017

New Curriculum: Our 8-Hour Workshop!

By |March 6th, 2017|New Products, Personal Finance, Teaching Strategies|

Asked to teach a 7-hour course at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, we polled the seniors at this high performing all-girls school to find out what personal finance topics they most wanted to learn, and they came back with:

  • How to budget during college and/or grad school
  • Understanding how credit cards and loans work
  • Buying a car
  • And how to invest

We rounded out their 5-class course with an hour on credit scores and, after working with the students, realized they also had a lot of questions about taxes. So, we turned our awesome Casti course into an 8-Hour Workshop to share with you.

Here are a few quick reasons I love this workshop:

  • It’s perfect if you don’t have a full semester course on Personal Finance. You can use part or all of the 8 hours in a senior seminar, an advisory, an after-school program, an intersession course, etc. Or, the individual lessons may be JUST what you’re looking to add into your full Fin Lit course.
  • It inspired us to create two new activities:
    • A whole-class, up-out-of-your-seats way to teach mutual and index funds (thanks, NGPF Fellow Andrea Stemper for the inspiration)
    • A new spin on our
5Mar, 2017

Finance in My Life: What If That Savings Bond Was An Index Fund?

By |March 5th, 2017|Current Events, Index Funds, Investing, Math, Research, Stocks|

I was cleaning out an old drawer and thought this might be be a fun exercise for those who want to bring some math into their classroom and also compare the returns on stocks and bonds:


I received this savings bond in April, 1980 for winning an essay contest put on by the local Elks Club. The topic: Patriotism in America. This was the time of the Iranian Hostage crisis and I remember writing about how local communities were supporting the hostages and their families in so many ways. This discovery had me wondering about  a few things:

5Mar, 2017

Your Weekend Podcasts

By |March 5th, 2017|Audio Resource, Index Funds, Investing, Policy|

Oops. Meant to get this out on Friday. Here’s what I have been listening to the past week (or hope to listen to soon):

  • Bill McNabb, CEO of Vanguard Group (Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz; over one hour). Vanguard recently crossed $4 trillion in assets under management. McNabb describes why index funds are increasing their market share, how Vanguard’s robo-advising business is growing, and the importance of fees when it comes to investing over the long-term. For those interested in learning more about index investing, this is a great primer! McNabb also shares some valuable career advice that he gained from an unlikely mentor.
5Mar, 2017

The Money Question: Do You Want Overdraft Protection?

By |March 5th, 2017|Checking Accounts, Schools In News, Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers, Uncategorized|

Thanks to Mountain View High for inviting me to their AVID class last week (and for the next 7 Thursdays) to teach personal finance. Today’s topic was “How To Manage Your Checking Account.” I started with the Bank role play activity to highlight the questions that students should be prepared to ask PRIOR to opening an account. Asking the right questions has to be the foundational skill we need to develop in any financial education course.

The students responses included the importance of FEES with several discussing the pain that they felt when overdraft fees hit their account. During the role play, I asked the “money question” that all new accountholders will be asked when opening an account: “Would you like overdraft protection?” 

2Mar, 2017

What Percentage of 18-22 Year Old’s Credit Applications Declined?

By |March 2nd, 2017|Chart of the Week, Credit Cards, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Current Events, Question of the Day, Research, WebQuest|

Answer (from ID Analytics report): 72%

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 8.47.22 AM

Questions for students:

2Mar, 2017

Question of the Day: Why Are Car Insurance Rates Going Up?

By |March 2nd, 2017|Article, Chart of the Week, Current Events, Insurance, Question of the Day, Research|

Answer: More accidents due to “distracted” drivers.

Ok, I know you are not teaching a driver’s ed course, but this is an incredibly important message to get across to new drivers: Don’t Text While You Drive! Here’s the data showing the increase in car-insurance premiums due to more driving and more crashes (from WSJ (subscription)):

2Mar, 2017

Educator Brian Page Shares His Lesson: Buying an Automobile

By |March 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Earlier this month, we received an email from educator Brian Page about a lesson he had created on Buying an Automobile. First and foremost, we want to thank Brian for sharing such a great lesson with us. Second, we want to highlight some of the awesome things about his lesson below! If you are interested in using Brian’s materials, click here to access his resources in Google Drive, which are in “View Only” mode. To use them in your classroom, simply go to File and either click “Make a copy” OR “Add to My Drive”.

Brian describes what led him to create this lesson:

“This lesson uses the experiential learning method, which I prefer to use when at all possible. Before diving into the lesson, I need to provide context. I did not write the lesson with the intention of sharing it with others. So there is not a “teacher guide” with standard alignment and teacher specific nomenclature. We are a 1:1 school, so the lesson is designed for students who have access to a computer. Most importantly, much of the commentary I use in the video and some lesson requirements include the integration of behavioral economics. I scaffold such strategies throughout

1Mar, 2017

Schools in the News

By |March 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|


  • ‘Credit for Life’ teaches Wallingford students how to manage personal finances (

Managing money isn’t a skill many high school students learn before graduating. Recent studies indicate the majority of American teens do not know how to solve basic financial problems. “When you’re younger, you don’t really see money as a precious thing. You just go to your parents for money,” Sheehan High School sophomore Gavin Sparks said. The school district held an event Wednesday that gave high school sophomores a simulated experience with personal finances.

A Catholic school system in Bismarck is planning to build a financial education center for students, after receiving a $2 million donation. Officials at Light of Christ schools and the head of Choice Financial announced the construction of the new center Thursday, The Bismarck Tribune ( ) reported. The center aims to improve financial literacy and foster business skills among the school’s students. “Personal finance or financial literacy teaches lessons on credit cards and loans. This is so useful for upcoming college students such as myself that will be on their own in the future,” Madison Baumgartner,