Interested in an engaging curriculum that combines a shoe drive fundraiser with micro-enterprise and business? Wayne Elsey, Founder & CEO, of Funds2Orgs is sharing a full curriculum that has been aligned with Common Core for elementary, middle school, high school, and home school levels. The curriculum is an innovative approach that can be taught alone or be combined with a shoe drive fundraiser to understand the totality of the role of shoes in commerce and the environment.
Many young people today think they are just going to go out there and have their “dream” apartment (like they see on TV), complete with top of the line furnishings, etc. Realistically, most will find they will be grateful for any free or hand-me-down furnishings (although they don’t realize that now). I wanted students to create a “dream” living room where money was no object. Their furnishings were based on their personal style, using the web-based technology Polyvore Home and they had to keep a list of expenses. Then, they had to replicate the room on a reduced budget as closely as possible using online department stores, again keeping track of their expenses. Not only did this project end up being an eye-opener for them in terms of cost, but they learned they could have a similar look, spending much less money. Oh, and did I mention, they also had a lot of fun “decorating and shopping” for a period or two!
Students spend a lot of time researching and making comparisons on various colleges from location to majors offered and cost, so it only makes sense to spend some time looking at options of financing their ambitions. While I am no expert, going through this process with my daughter last year has at least upped my comfort level with the material and terms (at least a little bit). Because of this I wanted a simple way for students to learn what options were out there to help them afford college so they could at least have a starting point. This assignment asks students to take an article on college loans and not only read it, but create a graphic organizer around the theme to help them become more familiar with the information. While students often have additional questions specific to their circumstances, our school also offers a financial aid night for students and their parents which allows them to ask those questions and get the answers that I cannot afford them.
While listening to the news on the radio, it was announced that in Pennsylvania 1 in every 5 children lives below the poverty level. I’m sure this number varies from one state to the next but I thought it to be a rather scary statistic. This lesson and the included activities has students learning about poverty, what causes it, and an engaging simulation to see how easy it could be for some to live in poverty no matter how hard they try to avoid it.
Habits are a part of life. Sometimes they creep up on us and sometimes we have to work hard to achieve them. For example, we don’t think about the fact that we might stop for coffee on our way to work every morning, but we certainly know how difficult it is to eat clean or exercise on a daily basis. Some habits are free and the benefits are priceless, but others are costly, not only to our wallets, but also to our health, our emotions and our relationships. This lesson has students looking at the true cost of the habits that might be part of their lives now or in the future. Hopefully, this activity will help them to really think about the consequences associated with habits before they decide to continue them or help them form healthier ones.
Many of my students can’t wait to finish high school and enter the adult world. I try to encourage them to enjoy their lives as teens because with adulthood comes much responsibility! They truly understand that statement after completing the activities that one must be responsible for as adults such as calculating paychecks in order to create a budget and finally the one that everyone “loves” so much, paying taxes. These are all real life, practical skills that students are going to need to know how to perform once they are out on their own. This simulation was designed to give students a taste of what’s to come, using random jobs/incomes to do so. In the end, while students understood the need to know how to do all of the simulation, they weren’t quite as eager to be on the fast track to adulthood!
What is the cheapest way to buy diapers? Do subscriptions to Amazon Prime or memberships to wholesale clubs really save you money on diapers? Why not do the math? This is a complex problem but easy enough to understand and develops student’s problem solving skills.
Problem solving is one skill that has to be taught. If you think about it, we really want students who can problem solve, not memorize a whole bunch of facts or methods for doing something. This lesson happens to be about cell phone plans since it is a problem that students can easily understand yet is more complex so even our brightest students will be challenged in figuring it out.
In adult life there are many practical questions that require problem solving skills and a little math. This lesson has students figure out the benefits and costs to joining a shopping club like Sam’s Club. Guide your students through a real life case study that requires lots of critical thinking, a little math and the chance to use Excel!
This lesson follows a case study of a busy couple that is challenged by one of their coworker’s to figure out whether it is cheaper to make sandwiches or buy them from Subway. Students get a chance to apply their critical thinking & problem solving skills to a practical problem as well as get a chance to learn basic math in Excel.