NGPF Fellow Tony Montgomery not only co-facilitated our workshop at the w!se MoneyPOWER conference on November 8, AND helped field teacher questions at our Exhibitor’s Booth, but he ALSO invited me to visit his classroom the following day, Nov 9, at City-As-School in Manhattan.
I visited Tony’s class which, this cycle, is focused on Paying for College. The school calendar is organized into cycles, where students learn intensely in one narrowly focused class, rather than having many units spread over a semester. Tony uses our curriculum, on the Gooru platform, as the main content for his class, supplementing with his own resources, too. Speaking of, check out these two recommended articles from Tony: Is College Tuition Really Too High? (NY Times) and Career Earnings of Low-income Graduates Lag, Study Says (Chicago Tribune).
Anyway, back to the visit — While I was there, Tony’s students were on their second to last class period, and they were researching the net price of three different colleges of their choosing. Tony slightly modified this NGPF activity, which the students worked on independently: CALCULATE: How Much Should I Borrow for College. I was really impressed with how well his students navigated the various websites needed to complete this activity, which is nontrivial to complete. Throughout the cycle they’d completed the Student Activity Packets for the lessons in our Unit 5, and each student in the class had a hefty portfolio folder of activity packets, worksheets, and projects they had completed for credit in the class. They were going to do presentations on their final day of class.
I got the chance to interview students in Tony’s class on their experience using NGPF resources on Gooru, and here are some of the highlights:
- I really like that all of the info you need to complete any of the assignments is right there. You can look back at the resources, and you can always find the answer.
- For the student activity packets, I like that you do the resource, and then you answer the questions. They’re directly aligned, which makes it straightforward to complete all of your work.
- The scenarios are really good — they’re like real students making real decisions, not like some random adult doing things that don’t apply to you.
- The materials are at the right level — they’re not so easy you get bored, but they’re not so hard that you can’t complete them.
I got some great pictures of my visit, too!
Thanks for inviting me to your classroom, Tony, and for ALWAYS giving NGPF tons of feedback on our lessons, our activity, how Gooru’s working, etc. Thanks, too, to Tony’s coteacher, Ummi Modeste, College and Career Advisor, for graciously letting me drop in.