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
For high school and college students, the holiday season brings exams, followed by a long, leisurely break from classes. While time away from schoolwork and a chance to spend more time with family, friends and a cup of hot chocolate is a welcome change for most students, from a budget perspective winter break can put a strain on the wallet. With gift-giving and cold-weather activities, many people spend more than they are used to in December. 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.
The sun is still shining and the feelings of summer are lingering, however, slowly but surely, the signs of fall are creeping in as everyone heads back to the classroom. Chances are most of your students spent at least part of the summer hard at work, whether it was tutoring, scooping ice cream, working retail or just mowing their parents’ lawns. Regardless, they likely did something to stir up some spending money. Below are some financial literacy lessons to impart to your students, advising them on how stretch their summer earnings as far as possible.
1.Evaluate your spending – It’s important that students carefully evaluate their spending. Complete an exercise with your students to walk through their weekly spending. This exercise should call out any bad spending habits – like that every day after school slice of pizza – that are hurting their finances.
2. Make a budget – At the core of every successful financial plan is a solid budget. Work with your students to make a budget for the school year, considering those big spending moments such as the holidays, birthdays and other events. Estimate how much they can spend each month, based on how much they’ve earned this summer, to help them make the most of their hard earned summer paychecks.
3. Save – High school students may feel it’s too early to start thinking seriously about saving, but an important lesson in financial literacy is that it is truly never too early. The financially trying days of college will be upon your students before they know it, so encourage them to put away a little money now – they’ll thank you later!
4. Grow your earnings – Even the strongest budget could benefit from some extra funds to work with. To close out this lesson, encourage your students to explore ways to earn money during the school year, every experience earning and dealing with money only improves their financial literacy skills!
If you enjoyed this piece, you’ll also enjoy reading about results and advice from real teachers who’ve taught financial literacy.
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.
As the summer comes to a close and the classroom is right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to share the trends and technologies that will be impacting teachers in classrooms across the country this year. The technologies of tomorrow are more accessible than ever, and this year they will be more integrated into the classroom experience than ever before. Read more
By now we are all well aware that financial literacy has endless benefits for students. According to data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Investor Education Foundation, high school students who are required to take personal finance courses have better average credit scores and lower debt delinquency rates as young adults. Read more
As the end of the school year is upon us and students head home for the summer, many teachers are asking themselves about the lessons they hope their students will take home with them. While every teacher will come up with different ideas about what financial literacy lessons are most important for their unique group of students, we have listed some standout financial literacy skills that teachers should make sure students keep top of mind until they return in the fall, and beyond. Read more
If you were an Economics teacher in the 1990’s, things looked a lot different in the financial education world. There were only 1 or 2 standards tied to Financial Literacy. No textbook contained any helpful information and there was very little supplemental or online material. Most teachers might not have really focused on it, as it was not emphasized. And those that did understand the importance had very little to choose from, most had to create their own materials. Read more