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.
Teaching personal finance can be a challenge especially if you have all the old, outdated resources that emphasis doing just about all your budgeting, check writing, goal setting, etc on paper. Students start the eye roll as soon as you hand out the “how to write a check” worksheet. Granted, they should know how to fill out a check even if they only use their debit card now. The world is changing and we want students to be turned on to being good financial stewards. This means we need to help them find technologically advanced ways to keep track of their spending, budget, and set goals. One of my personal favorite free personal finance websites is Mint.com.
This project is a part of a high school senior life skills class. I explain to the students that after high school it is really up to them to engage in learning on their own. No one is going to spoon feed them. One of the ways adults learn is by reading books on subjects that they need to work on or learn more about.
“Many young people fail in the management of their first consumer credit experience, establish bad financial management habits, and stumble through their lives learning by trial and error” states the Jump$tart Coalition. From this reality many programs have emerged all with one goal- to financially educate our young people. On this post I tried to list many of the notable programs, games, and websites that provide resources for financial literacy.