Activities

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Spanish Translations for Saving & Investing

Did you know that one of our most popular projects at the moment is Ravioli Den (technically called Joining the Market)? Did you know it is now available in Spanish (Unirse al mercado de valores)? NGPF is in the process of translating some of our best and most-used activities and projects into Spanish, so that teachers with English Language Learners in their classes can further support their students. This month we’re releasing 10 translations on the topics of Saving and Investing.

You can view our growing list of 30 translations here in our Spanish Translations Directory. Is there a topic you’d like us to tackle next? Email Jessica to have your favorite activity or project placed on the list. And to receive an automated email every time new resources are added, join our Spanish Translations mailing list.

Another helpful hint: You’ll know a resource is available in Spanish when you see an (Sp) after its title on our website. ¡Que bueno!

Spanish screenshot

By |March 19th, 2017|Activities, Investing, Savings|

Web Quest: How Do I Buy A Stock (Or Better Yet, An Index Fund)?

A teacher at our recent FinCamp reminded me that we should not forget about the importance of the mechanics of personal finance transactions. What good is teaching students about the importance of investing if they don’t know how to go about setting up an account to buy/sell investments. While we have a activities on how to select a credit card and a bank account, we don’t answer the basic question that many young investors have which is “How do I buy a stock?”

Rather than answer this question for them, have students do their own online research to discover:

What A ‘Modern Classroom’ Looks Like, & How NGPF Can Help

I’ve got such a backlog of “things I’d like to read” that I started putting 3 per week on my “to do” list and “assigning” the readings to myself. This article from EdSurge made its way into last week’s reading list — What Does a ‘Modern Classroom’ Look Like — and What Should Educators Leave Behind? While I’m not sure I agree 100% with ALL of their ideas, the introductory questions answered by the panel of “experts” had me thinking — NGPF has this! NGPF does this! NGPF is this! — over and over again. Here are a few excerpts:

By |February 9th, 2017|Activities, Featured NGPF Lesson, Teaching Strategies|

Students & Teachers LOVE Ravioli Den!

Way back in August of 2015 I created what remains one of my favorite projects — “Joining the Market,” also known as “Ravioli Den” among friends. I started off just wanting to create something that simulated the buying and selling of shares, but it rapidly morphed into an awesome, whole-class game that teaches roughly 10 investing concepts in two class periods: It’s truly one of my finest works at NGPF. So, I brag about it all the time, but recently, teachers have written in to rave about Ravioli Den, too.

By |February 1st, 2017|Activities, Featured NGPF Lesson, Investing|

WebQuest: How To Protect that Credit (and Debit) Card!

I am always amazed when I am searching Google for interesting news stories about credit cards how frequently the articles detail how the “bad guys” manage to steal credit card information. Identity theft can seem like an adult problem to many teens (unless their parents or they have been personally victimized), so I thought this quick WebQuest might bring the topic home to them.  I thought it would be interesting to provide an update to my earlier 2015 post titled (apologies to Paul Simon) “50 Ways to Swipe Your Credit Card (or Debit Card) Number.”

So, here’s the assignment:

Activity Idea (with Spreadsheets): Let’s Make An Index Fund

I awoke this morning thinking “how can you make index funds more tangible for students?” Why do I care about this? Anyone who has heard my rantings before either in this blog or on the NGPF podcast knows that I abhor the Stock Market Game. It teaches all the wrong lessons about investing: the short term nature of it, the “luck” factor, the highest risk strategy wins and so on. At some point, I will create a game to counter these lessons that is focused on index funds. The trick is how to make it appealing to a risk-seeking teen audience who loves the “action” of buying and selling stocks. Unfortunately good investing isn’t really about “action”, my buddy Allan Roth has it right when he says, as investors we should “dare to be dull.”

So, here’s the kernel of the idea: Have students take on the role of an investment manager hired to do the following:

Lesson: What If You Only Had An Hour To Convince Your Students to Save?

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to get back into the classroom at Eastside Prep in East Palo Alto, California (where I came up with the idea for Next Gen Personal Finance). We’re teaching seniors all they need to know about personal finance over 6 weeks (24 hours of content) including lessons on savings and checking accounts, taxes, budgeting and investing. We’ll be releasing this 24 hour curriculum later this spring to help those educators who only have a limited time to spend on personal finance.

Our first savings lesson focused on four learning objectives:

  • Importance of saving
  • Power of compound interest
  • Understanding different types of savings accounts
  • How to make saving automatic

Here is a summary of this lesson which will be part of a 24 hour curriculum that Sonia is currently packaging and will release later this spring. I provide this summary in case you are teaching savings now and looking for some ideas to supplement what you are currently doing:

By |January 29th, 2017|Activities, compound interest, Lesson Idea, Savings, Teaching Strategies|

Please Include Student Loans in Your Lessons!!!!

Connecting the dots on a weekend and thinking about recent student loan news. Most standard personal finance courses spend way too little time on this issue of student loans and more broadly paying for college. Why? One major reason is the national standards have not emphasized this issue of college finance (see how many times you find “college” and “student loans” in this 52 page document).

So, what are the dots that I am connecting and why the imperative to include in your curriculum? 1) almost 50% of student loan borrowers are struggling; 2) the fastest growing segment of student loan market is over 60; 3) the largest student loan servicer is being sued for“systematically and illegally failing borrowers at every stage of repayment.” Kinda makes you wonder how much #3 contributes to #1 but I digress: