School News: Personal Finance in the Classroom

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Oct 16, 2014
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Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Schools In News

The media center at Owatonna High School turns into a virtual, mini-New York Stock Exchange when Tate Cummins’ personal finance class takes over.  Students are glued to computers and iPhones displaying the fluctuating graphs and numbers of stocks on Yahoo! Finance as senior Peyton Lindholm calls out, “Oh, we need to sell that!”

  • Students in northern California attended a workshop to learn more about how to pay for college (Lake County News)

On Saturday, Oct. 4, students in grades seventh through 12th from Lake and Mendocino counties were invited to attend the “My Future, My Way” workshop at the Mendocino College Lake Campus…In addition, students also attended sessions on concurrent enrollment where students learned how they can take college courses while still in high school for free, personal finance where they learned the various options available for paying for college and a college student panel where current first and second year college students from community and four year colleges shared their experiences and offered some words of wisdom to potential future college students.

Mester said she and others are looking at ways to reach students much earlier in school by implementing activities, such as money market moguls for younger students and a stock market game that gives students $100,000 in fantasy funds to invest in a stock portfolio.  “It’s a lot easier to convey that message with a game, an activity that makes it realistic to the kids can relate to it later in life,” she said.

  • How did a junior high in New Zealand engage students in personal finance (NZ Herald) Hint:  They let students drive their own learning:

In maths classes, lessons on percentages had been taught using personal finance examples. Teachers found that the results were higher than normal, because students were more engaged.  “What’s really cool to me is you have students saying, ‘I’m really good at financial literacy’,” Ms Crawford said. “They are telling their parents how important it is, and telling their little brother or sister, ‘We can help you so that you can be rich when you are older’.”

Students had developed resources to teach others about financial literacy, including apps, interactive games, brochures and displays. Their work was last night displayed in a trade exhibition, run as part of Money Week, which has been organised by the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income.

  • Waynesboro (PA) high school students participated in a day of financial learning games recently (Record Herald):

How much does a box of garbage bags cost?  What is disability insurance?

These questions were part of financial learning “games” played by business education students at Waynesboro Area Senior High School during a recent daylong program on financial literacy.  Junior Achievement of York with the help of the volunteers from the Rotary Club of Waynesboro conducted the workshop for students in the classes Money, Banking, Finance, and Personal Finance.

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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