Thanks to all the teachers who have engaged with the Pathway to Financial Success blog this school year and brought topical lesson plans and financial literacy tips into their classrooms. As you prepare to wrap up the 2016/17 academic year, here are some of your favorite blog posts from the last 9 months. Read more
Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday or more commonly Fat Tuesday, is a carnival celebration associated with eating rich and fatty foods. This time of gluttony and celebration presents the perfect opportunity for students to reflect on spending and splurges in their own financial lives. Here’s some tips for students to celebrate on a budget and focus on financial responsibility after the parades have ended, beads have been thrown and one lucky partygoer has found the baby in the king cake. Read more
One month into the New Year, more than half of the students who toasted to a yearlong goal on January 1 have given up on their resolution. In fact, just 8% of people keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Last month on the blog we shared A Financial Literacy Fresh Start offering tips to share with students to start the New Year financially fit. As we move through February, here are common resolutions to pick back up as you help your students reaffirm their commitment to financial literacy and smart budgeting for the remainder of the year. Read more
October is not just the time for apple picking, hanging cobwebs and stocking up for Halloween; it’s also the time to reflect on the lessons you have taught your students in the first few units of the school year, determine the skills and lessons they have mastered thus far and identify the areas that need extra time and attention. We have compiled tips and lesson plan ideas to prepare your students for midterms on financial literacy or other subjects and track against your goals for the months ahead.
Lesson Plans in Jeopardy
A great way to assess your students’ progress in an engaging way before midterms is with a classroom-wide review game. This free tool allows teachers to create their own fully-customizable Jeopardy-style game and provides support for determining categories, keeping score and suggestions for the final question. You can also incentivize studying in advance of the review game day by offering prizes to the winners (i.e. extra credit or pre-Halloween candy).
Two Heads Are Better Than One
By having your students review for midterm assessments together in pairs, you will have the opportunity to move throughout the classroom, provide individualized instruction and spend extra time addressing concepts that are foundational for lessons that will be taught later in the school year. You can even intentionally partner the strongest students in the classroom with those that have struggled with certain material. The teaching and learning between students will encourage conversation and make for a more engaged and inclusive classroom environment in the months ahead.
Put to the Test
Quizzes and written tests aren’t the only way to assess your students’ knowledge and in some cases they aren’t even ideal. For your midterm assessments on financial literacy, consider foregoing a test and asking students to present a real-life budget, or assign a creative project encouraging your students to film a video, perform a skit or write a poem that demonstrates financial literacy concepts. You’ll be surprised at what your students come up with!
If you want more tips for planning financial literacy lessons, be sure to check back every month on the Pathway to Financial Success blog.
September doesn’t just mean welcoming new students to the classroom; it is also time to finalize lesson plans for the year ahead. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when building financial literacy lesson plans for your students this school year.
Start with the Fundamentals
By making assumptions about students’ mastery of financial literacy concepts, even for those farther along in their school careers, you run the risk of leaving some students behind. When planning, it is important to begin with the fundamentals of personal finance. By asking simple, conceptual questions like ‘what is currency?’ or ‘what does it mean to be financially literate?’ you can create an inclusive environment for students at all levels of mastery of the content, as well as establish a framework from which to work in the year ahead.
Meet Students Where They Are
To begin – it is important to first assess what your students already know, any misconceptions they may have and the areas in which they feel most confident. Many students began financial literacy education late, or have never had a formal lesson at all. By assessing the classroom during the first days and weeks of the school year, you can modify and optimize your lessons to have the greatest impact on the students you will be working with every day for the next nine months.
Successful lessons engage students using a variety of media. Before school is back in session, gather videos, quizzes, lesson plans and real-life case studies that illustrate best practices in money management, budgeting, and financial planning.
Assessment and Key Learnings
Financial literacy lessons like all subjects, particularly those based in mathematical concepts, build on each other. When planning lessons it is important to build in ample time for review and frequent assessments, be it short quizzes, end-of-unit tests or presentations and group projects. At the end of each lesson, return to the fundamentals you began with. This will show how the concepts build throughout the year.
The Resources for Teachers tab on the Pathway to Financial Success website will help you bring crucial financial education knowledge to your class room.