Teaching Strategies

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Snapchat Is Going Public. Would You Buy Their IPO?

First an admission. I have never used Snapchat. Despite that, I thought their upcoming IPO would be a good hook to get students interested in how the stock market works. Before diving into the specifics of Snapchat (actually it is their parent company, SNAP, who is going public), here’s a good video from Wall Street Survivor that explains what an IPO is:

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Having Fun With Investing Cartoons

Here are three cartoons focused on investing and a few questions for your students to ponder:

  • What is happening in the cartoon?
  • What is the motive of the cartoonist?
  • What lessons can you glean from these cartoons to help your financial life?

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In this case, the experts are right! Check out this NGPF Activity on Compound Interest. Create an activity to see what happens when parents invest in college saving or 529 plans when their children are born. 

By |February 15th, 2017|Cartoons, Investing, Mutual Funds, Teaching Strategies|

Ways To Make Investing Simpler

I have been thinking a lot about this issue of how to make investing simpler. I hear from teachers that this is a real pain point for them. I can see in the NGPF podcast stats that the most popular guests tend to be conversations about investing (Mike Finley, Jonathan Clements and Vanguard’s Jim Rowley to name a few). Then this weekend the lightbulb went off. I was heading to the coast listening to Charlie Ellis on the Masters In Business podcast (kinda dorky I know). Those of you not familiar with Charlie Ellis, he is probably the best investment management thinker you have never heard of. Charlie has played a role in two of the juggernauts of modern day investing, the Yale endowment and Vanguard Investments (the king of indexers just crossed $4 billion (I mean TRILLION!)). Oh, and he was an early investor in Berkshire Hathaway too (Warren Buffett’s company)!

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|

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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Looking for Web Quests? Here Are 25 Great Ways To Teach Online Research!

What’s a Web Quest? We know how important it is for young people to learn to use the web as a research tool. In this era where the lines between advertising and editorial are increasingly blurred, students need to know where to look to find reliable sources of information and advice. They need to cast a skeptical eye and know the right questions to ask. Given all the information available out there, we need to give them practice so they can discern the signal from the noise.

That’s where these Web Quests come in. Each presents a central question for students to answer and some guidance on where they might find answers. Through these activities, they will learn about the business models of comparison websites, review legislation that impacts financial services or look for tips on how to improve their credit score. By teaching students how to drive their own learning, you are giving them an essential life skill too. Enjoy these 25 web quests (which appear as Activities in our various units)!

By |February 2nd, 2017|Research, Stocks, Teaching Strategies, WebQuest|

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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Chart: Explaining the Investing Concept of Risk and Return

Source: Fidelity:

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One of the core concepts in finance is the relationship between risk and return. The higher the risk of an asset, the higher the