Jun 11, 2017
Writing assignment, Question of the Day, Teaching Strategies
Thanks to Brian Page of Reading High School for getting the tweets started and for the multiple contributors to his initial inquiry:
What reflection prompts should be required in a student financial literacy journal, as least weekly?
The responses are rolling in:
Brian Page (and NGPF podcast guest)
What did you learn that you will put to practice now or in the near future?
What tools did you discover that you plan to use now or in the near future?
Ron Lieber, NY Times columnist (and NGPF...
May 09, 2017
Writing assignment, Activity, Research, Teaching Strategies, Current Events, Article, Activities
A recent Ron Lieber column in NY Times got me thinking about a useful skill that all young people should have: how to advocate for oneself in a manner that people in power will respond to.
Here’s the crux of his column:
Even semiprofessional consumers like me run into our share of problems. These are particularly irksome, since we should probably know better than to find ourselves on the wrong end of a busted product or poorly delivered service. So this week, I’m pleased to share with...
Apr 16, 2017
Article, Writing assignment, Ethics
The world of personal finance is constantly changing…the products that students are evaluating today will be different tomorrow…robo-advisers, target date retirement funds, Venmo, mobile banking didn’t exist just a few years ago. This makes media literacy such a critical skill to develop in our students. To become financially capable they will need to be lifelong learners and know what sources to turn to in order to get quality, credible information. Unfortunately, in this era...
Mar 23, 2017
Writing assignment, Question of the Day, Research, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Checking Accounts, Debit Cards, Teaching Strategies
Hanging out on the Boglehead Forum today skimming the topics that have received the most replies. Forums seem so “old school” in this age of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat) but the ones that have survived and thrived have done so for a reason. For those not familiar with the Boglehead Forum, the forum is named in honor of John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Investments, and attracts knowledgeable, thrifty investors passionate about sharing their knowledge in a variety of...
Mar 01, 2017
Writing assignment, Credit Cards, Investing, Student Loans, Teaching Strategies, Current Events
This St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, Jim Gallagher, wrote his final column recently. After twenty three years of being on the personal finance beat, he left a gift to his readers by reflecting on all that he had learned. I thought this would be a great activity for educators who are constantly on the prowl for writing assignment ideas. Why not as a final project have your students write a personal finance column highlighting all that they had learned. In terms of structure, here are some...
Dec 12, 2016
Purchase Decisions, Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Research, Teaching Strategies, Current Events, Article, Generosity, Writing assignment
This question seems apropos given the holiday season and is a great discussion starter. Ask your students to think about the 2-3 items that they purchased in the last year that they were (and continue to be) most excited about. Would they be classified as experiences or things?
This very accessible and relatively short (914 words or about 5 minutes) Scientific American article provides some scientific research to support one purchase type over the other (bold type are my own):
A lot of...
Nov 20, 2016
Activities, Activity, Research, Teaching Strategies, Current Events, Writing assignment
What a great way to ease into the Thanksgiving holiday! See the mini-activity idea below to help students see the benefits of gratitude:
First, let your students know that gratitude has positive physical and mental health benefits (Harvard Mental Health letter):
Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write...
Oct 11, 2016
Writing assignment, Behavioral Finance, Career, Employment
The New York Times’ Learning Network posted an ambitious 500 writing prompts (with links to articles) which I skimmed in search of ones to use in your classroom:
Every school day since 2009 we’ve asked students a question based on an article in The New York Times. Now, five years later, we’ve collected 500 of them that invite narrative and personal writing and pulled them all together in one place. Consider it a companion to the list of 200 argumentative writing prompts we posted...
Oct 03, 2016
Writing assignment, Question of the Day, Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Teaching Strategies
I often hear from teachers interested in more ideas for writing assignments so the NGPF team compiled this list of questions to engage your students and generate some great classroom discussions too. Let students choose the question that appeals most to them or have the class concentrate on just one question. Have your students do some journaling with one or more of these questions. Use your creativity on how best to utilize them! NGPF Podcast listeners will notice that many of the questions...
Sep 07, 2016
Behavioral Finance, Lesson Idea, Teaching Strategies, Purchase Decisions, Video Resource, Article, Writing assignment, Ethics
Elizabeth Justema, a first-time personal finance teacher from Summit High School of Bend, Oregon, shared resources that she developed to facilitate student reflection on their money values and beliefs (listen to her podcast here). She hopes this set of resources answers a set of essential questions and achieves specific learning objectives that she outlined below:
What are my values/needs/wants?
What is my perspective on money?
What are the origins of those...
Sep 07, 2016
Tips for Teachers, Paying for College, Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Teaching Strategies, Audio Resource, Featured Teachers, Parent Conversations, Podcasts, Writing assignment
My conversation with Elizabeth Justema, a personal finance teacher at Summit High School in Bend, Oregon coincides with schools opening across the country post-Labor Day. Elizabeth raised her hand when the Social Studies department created a personal finance elective (it’s quite popular with over 250 students enrolled) for this fall. With a previous career in international marketing at Microsoft, Elizabeth has a wealth of experience to share with her students. As for her interest...
Aug 29, 2016
Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Teaching Strategies, Featured Teachers, Writing assignment
NY Times columnist Ron Lieber out with a column over the weekend which lists 7 questions to get a conversation started about money (the sketch above from Carl Richards of NYT also):
What lessons about money did you learn from your parents?
What does the word money conjure up for you?
How many children would you like to have when you retire?
How do you think your children feel about that?
Tell me about your financial situation when you first met.
What are the most important things in your life?...
Jun 19, 2016
Teaching Strategies, Article, Generosity, Parent Conversations, Writing assignment
Ok, I admit this may seem a little far-fetched, but stick with me for a minuter here. Ron Lieber (NY Times) has a column this Saturday imploring parents to write a money letter to their kids to get a conversation going:
The Money Talk, capital “M” and capital “T,” is overrated. As with the Sex Talk, children can sense that one is coming. And if they get antsy, your words will go in one ear and out the other.
Tempted to hand over a notecard instead? Your first principles may fit on it,...
May 25, 2016
Activity, Budgeting, Savings, Teaching Strategies, Article, Writing assignment
I came across this WSJ article last week “The Financial Lessons of a Depression-Era Baby,” which immediately made me think about an activity where students interview their grandparents to learn more about their upbringing and the money lessons they learned growing up. In this short article, Bud Hebeler, former Boeing president, chronicles the lessons he learned from his parents while growing up during the Depression. His recounting includes such nuggets as:
Dad recommended that we...
Apr 17, 2016
Credit Scores, Activity, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Index Funds, Investing, Savings, Financial Literacy, Current Events, Insurance, Video Resource, Writing assignment, Compound Interest
Ok, I admit that I have a bit of a fascination with this concept of “all we need to know about personal finance should fit on an index card.” Why? It’s the notion that the simplest solution is often the best solution, especially when it comes to personal finance. For example, when thinking about investing, aren’t a few well-diversified index funds going to serve you better than trying to choose among 7,000 mutual funds or a similar number of publicly-traded stocks?