Let’s Celebrate Financial Literacy Month!

K-12 teachers, celebrate Financial Literacy month all during the month of April with the Maryland Council on Economic Education by committing to teach, at least once a week, personal finance in your content area! How is this possible?  Well, we make it easy, no matter what grade level you teach!

Elementary teachers, we have a whole smorgasbord of free lesson plans connected to fiction and informational texts on our website, www.econed.org/teacher-resources/.  Pre-K to kindergarten teachers, check out Making Money, a lesson that teaches students to recognize money and identify the items that can be purchased with money.  Grade 1 teachers, try using Making Choices, a lesson plan that walks students through the decision-making process and the basics of opportunity costs.  Grades 2 and 3, consider the Candy Shop or Mama Panya’s Pancakes, lessons that teach students to recognize markets and to distinguish between goods and services. Grades 3-5 teachers, try using Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock, a book that teaches students about savings and the significance of compound interest. Or consider Isabel’s Carwash, a really fun way to underscore the importance of capitalizing on human resources, personal skills, to help realize income that will aid in achieving individual short and long-term goals. Isabel’s Carwash also explains how buying shares in a business can potentially lead to dividends, additional income.

Middle school teachers, we offer several lessons that introduce the advantages of comparison shopping, the nuances of contracts, and the importance of saving.  These concepts and skills are covered in Catalogue Ordering, Making a Contract, and Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock.

Plus, for elementary through high school, teachers have access to www.econedlink.org, a free online lesson portal offered by our national affiliate, the Council on Economic Education. Teachers can search by grade level, subject, and concept to find the economics and personal finance lessons, interactive resources, and videos that best complement your curricula. Middle school teachers, check out some of my personal favorites, the Ad Detective and Do I Look like I’m Made of Money?

Also, 8th grade teachers interested in the Civil War may want to take advantage of a special workshop titled Multiple Perspectives on the Civil War held at the Maryland Historical Society on April 18th, 2015. Teachers will receive economics, history, geography, and technology resources and content focused on the Civil War. To register, follow this link http://www.econed.org/workshops/. Please note that the registration deadline is March 27th, 2015.

High school teachers, www.econedlink.org, has many lessons that reinforce Maryland Personal Finance Standards.  Consider using The 411 on College Education, this lesson uses a cost/benefit analysis to examine college advertising, college costs, loans, opportunity costs, and the benefits of education to enhancing one’s human capital.  The Credit Card Mystery, also complements Maryland Curricula by teaching students to evaluate and weigh the costs and benefits associated with credit.   Another lesson with timely content is Mobile Phones Matter.  This lesson examines the costs and benefits associated with using cellphones for financial management and financial decision-making. These lessons are just a few examples of this rich resource available to teachers.

Using the old adage, “April showers bring May flowers”, we hope that you will consider showering your students with all sorts of personal finance concepts!  For enriching students’ knowledge with personal finance will help build the skills necessary for making more informed financial decisions!