Teaching Strategy: Everyone A Personal Finance Advice Columnist

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Oct 15, 2014
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Lesson Idea, Teaching Strategies

Seeing this Time article soliciting advice from readers on a personal finance question made me think of a way to assess what students have learned at the end of a lesson or unit.  Here is the key part of the article:

Did you ever want to be a personal-finance advice columnist? Well, here’s your chance.  In MONEY’s “Readers to the Rescue” department, we publish questions from readers seeking help with sticky financial situations, along with advice from other readers on how to solve those problems.

So, how can you apply this to the classroom?

  1. Have students brainstorm and develop a list of questions about the unit/lesson just completed. Make the questions as student-specific and personal as possible.   4-5 questions should be sufficient.
  2. Post the list of questions and have students pick one question to answer (not their own).  They should write from a “personal finance advice columnist” perspective and should answer the question in a few sentences and write in a style that their friends could understand.
  3. Arrange the responses under each question that it is answering.  Students then have the opportunity to vote on the best response to each question.
  4. Votes are tallied and you can facilitate a conversation to discuss answers to these questions.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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