Activities

/Activities
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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:

Question: What Percentage of Millennials Write Checks?

This one surprised me. Maybe we should continue to teach check-writing after all!

Answer (from Qualtrics survey): 42%

Question: What Role Should Work Play In Your Lives?

A great question for your students to ponder before diving into your Career unit. The impetus for this question came from a story I heard on the Marketplace podcast:

While listening, ask your students to listen: