Professional Development

/Professional Development
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The D-Word: Differentiation!

Just a few weeks back, NGPF Fellow Maureen Neuner and I had a great phone conversation (we’re always saying — “Contact us! We love to help!” Maureen can attest it’s true) about the “D” word. DIFFERENTIATION! Love it or hate it, every good teacher’s got to do it, and Maureen and I were discussing specifically how to differentiate in the fin lit classroom.

I spent 4 years teaching algebra and geometry, often to students who really struggled with math, and then I spent another 6 years as a school admin in a school with tons of challenges, so differentiation was always a priority. Here are two ideas I’ve seen work in my own classroom:

  • Run 3 table groups simultaneously, with an appropriately leveled activity at each one. The key: Each activity enforces the same learning concepts
    • As the teacher, start off sitting with the most struggling group so that you can model as needed and give no one the excuse of not working at all “because I don’t understand.”
    • Move on to the middle group to make sure they’re not stuck and struggling too much, and help them with trickier aspects of the activity, or use your time with them to review
By |March 21st, 2017|Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers|

The Money Question: Do You Want Overdraft Protection?

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?” 

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to FinLit Mover and Shaker Brett Burkey

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He’s written personal finance workbooks, successfully lobbied Florida legislators, trained hundreds of teachers and taught thousands of students in his career. Oh, he also was a pioneer in bringing a blended learning model into his classroom. Who’s “he”? That would be educator Brett Burkey who took time to appear on the NGPF podcast to share insights from his incredible career. From the statehouse to the classroom, Brett describes how he was able to engage his audience to bring about change. Enjoy!

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to NGPF Fellow Charles Kafoglis About His Four Principles to Teaching Personal Finance

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Thanks to Charles Kafoglis of Incarnate Word in Houston, Texas for sharing his insights recently on the NGPF podcast. I got to know Charles through his participation in our Summer Institute in 2016. I saw firsthand his passion for financial education and have enjoyed our ongoing dialogue about different approaches to teaching investing. In this podcast, Charles shares the four key principles that serve as the foundation for his personal finance course as well as how his course ties into the leadership program at his high school. Finally, he will share how he sets the tone for his course early in the semester and the resources he relies upon to do that. Enjoy!

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NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Odelia Younge and Jennifer Kabaker About Micro-Credential Program At Digital Promise

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Many personal finance teachers don’t feel confident teaching the subject. There are often hurdles to participating in effective professional development including distance, dollars and relevance. The good news is that there are innovative organizations creating solutions to this problem. I spoke with leaders at one of these innovative companies, Digital Promise, about their micro-credentialing platform, which is designed to build finance educator competencies. Thanks to Odelia Younge and Jennifer Kabaker for discussing their micro-credential program and how educators can benefit from this new approach to professional development. Enjoy!


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NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Blended Learning Aficionado Steve Penley

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Thanks to Steve Penley of Waubonsie Valley High School (Aurora, Illinois) for coming on the NGPF podcast recently. Steve came to our attention through his participation in the NGPF Professional Learning Communities (PLC) program that Jessica (from NGPF) facilitates. In Jessica’s words, “Steve provides tons of great feedback to other participants and stays abreast of new technologies and tools which is incredibly valuable to the group.” In this podcast, Steve shares the reasons that he participates in PLCs, as well as his insights on how to run a blended learning classroom along with his favorite lesson. He will also tell you about a few of his favorite online resources and tech tools. Enjoy!

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My Summer Institute Experience: A retrospective from NGPF Fellow Maureen Neuner

When you’re selected as an NGPF Summer Institute participant, you not only join us for 3 days in the summer but also commit to being an NGPF Fellow for the following school year. Fellows have a menu of actions they can complete to earn points, with the goal of earning 100 points by the end of the school year and receiving a stipend for their extra efforts. I can say, from our side, the Fellows have been instrumental this school year in shaping what NGPF does, so we love having them!

One of their menu options is generating a guest blog post for our NGPF site, and Maureen decided to write about her Summer Institute (and follow up) experience. Interested in applying? Maureen will likely convince you with the following: 

By |January 26th, 2017|NGPF Fellows, Professional Development, Summer Institute|

NGPF’s Steps Up Commitment to Professional Development in 2017

You may have seen this recent announcement: Next Gen Personal Finance is pleased to announce a $120,000 challenge grant to Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy led by John Pelletier. This funding will enable dozens of Vermont financial educators to receive a graduate-level training program over the next three summers at the College. We are excited about restarting this program in Vermont which had great success earlier in the decade. Survey after survey shows teachers begging for more training to help boost their content knowledge and their confidence in the classroom. 2017 will see a dramatic increase in NGPF’s offerings to satisfy that demand.

Our ambitious plans over the next twelve months include: