Tips for Teachers

//Tips for Teachers
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Question: Should We Be Teaching Financial Habits or Goals?

I can always count on the Farnham Street blog for thought-provoking questions. Their recent post “Habits vs Goals : A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life,” caught my attention because it is something I struggle with. Namely, how can I operationalize ambitious goals into day-to-day habits? Goals can often seem daunting but when you break them down into daily or frequent habitual actions they suddenly seem easier.

Here’s the main takeaways from this five minute article:

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To NGPF’s Jessica Endlich and Sonia Dalal About Their New One-Semester Course

Today on the podcast we hear from NGPF’s Jessica and Sonia about the new One-Semester Course that they are creating. We often hear from teachers that NGPF has great content but also that there is SO much of it.  Given how busy you are, we wanted to make it easy for you by developing the “greatest hits” of NGPF that you could fit into a semester course. Putting their problem-solving hats on, Jessica and Sonia are in the process of developing a One-Semester Course of exactly 90 lessons (18 weeks) of exactly 45 minutes each that you can use to teach your course in the fall. They have created the first four units of this course, provided PD in webinar format, and now join me on this NGPF podcast. We will go under the hood to learn how this new curriculum is being developed, the timeline for its rollout and how they incorporated teacher feedback to continue to improve their product. Enjoy!

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NGPF Launches 3rd Annual Teacher Innovator Contest

Here are the deets:

WHAT DO I NEED TO SUBMIT?
  • COMPLETE THIS FORM to submit details about your favorite personal finance lesson or activity that demonstrates an innovative approach to teaching a personal finance concept. 
WHAT IS CONSIDERED “INNOVATIVE?”
  • Creation of an original lesson plan or activity with a personal finance focus
  • Modification of an existing lesson or activity (e.g., creating an extension activity to challenge your high performers, finding additional resources to supplement your lesson/activity, creating a differentiated lesson/activity to meet the various learning styles of your students)
  • Modification of an existing lesson or activity to meet the needs of a specific student population (e.g., English Language Learners (ELL), Individualized Learning Plans (ILP), Special Education)

Keep in mind: your submission should be replicable for other educators and not reliant on outside partnerships. 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To NGPF Fellow Amy McCabe of Culpeper High School (Virginia)

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Thanks to Amy McCabe for taking the time to participate in this recent NGPF Podcast. I got to know Amy during our inaugural Summer Institute in 2016 and was struck by her passion for teaching and for ensuring her students get the skills they need to succeed in their financial lives. In this podcast, you will learn from Amy what it’s like to teach in a state with a personal finance mandate. She discusses her approach to teaching challenging topics, such as investing and insurance and how she injects story-telling into her lessons. You will also discover what Amy bought for $10 recently that brought great joy into her life. Enjoy!

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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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