I get a lot of notes over the years, but every now and then I’m completely blown away by one, and such was the case yesterday when I opened up my email and found this gem waiting for me…
If you’re a teacher, or have friends who are teachers, PLEASE PASS THIS TO THEM and let’s get this course into more schools around the world!!
This is so great!!
I thought you might like to see this blog that my class made that was inspired by you.
The grade 11 math curriculum here in Ontario, Canada requires that students “investigate bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds” and in the past I gave students a guided investigation that bored them (and me!) to tears and from which they remembered ZILCH!
Not prepared to do that again, and inspired by your newsletters, I created an assignment where students had to pick 5 topics from an extensive list (see attached! You’ll recognize lots of them) and write a brief post about it. I’m pretty happy with the results and looking forward to reading them all.
The best part was that students were bubbling over wanting to tell me about what they had learned! Their quiz from the unit was to read 5 other people’s posts and tell me what they learned about those other topics.
So by the end, students will have learned something about ten wildly divergent personal finance topics, but more importantly got into the world of online financial blogs like yours. I hope they will continue.
And here were the attachments she passed over if you want to download and check out:
- 4.6 Personal Finance Culminating Assignment (PDF)
- 4.6 Personal Finance Culminating Assignment (Word Doc)
- 4.6 Investigations Rubric (Word Doc)
What a breath of fresh air!!! This was the best part – “students were bubbling over wanting to tell me about what they had learned!” Can you imagine?? For a FINANCE class??
Teacher of The Year right there, Ms. Dempsey… Way to challenge the norm and make this stuff not only INTERESTING for your students, but RELEVANT as well! Ain’t no kid wants to learn about prudent financial management (or adults for that matter), but put it in more fun terms that’s based around freedom and living out your dreams and ENJOYING your money, and everyone’s down! Which surprise surprise, comes from smart financial management!
So way to introduce your students to a whole other way of learning out there, and hopefully they go on to do more of it on their own inspired by you and the community. That’s what our $$$$ blogs are all about!
I’ve copied/pasted the transcript of this course assignment below for your viewing (and learning) pleasure…
Maybe if you take on the work yourself, Ms. Dempsey will grade your report for you? ;) The only changes I made were to link to a lot of the articles and resources for quicker access, as well as a few other notes… Lots of new stuff I haven’t seen before, myself!
Personal Finance Culminating Assignment
For this assignment you will select five of the following topics to investigate.
You will produce a written piece for each (150 – 300 words) or a podcast-like recorded oral summary. (Hint: this section of text before the line is about 150 words)
Each student will have five different topics to produce. You may only select one from each section. Try to pick topics that sound interesting to you. No students may pick the same topic (except compare/contrast podcasts or blogs – as long as different podcasts/blogs are selected). Some of the topics are very wide open – this is so you can find something interesting within the topic that you think your classmates will find interesting/helpful.
Each written pieces and recording will be posted to a class blog. In future you will be asked to read several pieces and describe them. The requirements for each may be slightly different. Check with Ms. Dempsey if you are unsure how to proceed.
See the attached rubric for further information about marking and expectations. More than one student can do the first three items as long as they choose different things to compare.
- Financial Blogs — Compare and contrast two (or more) financial blogs. (See Ms. Dempsey for a list of blogs to choose from or find your own)
- Financial Podcasts — Compare and contrast two (or more) financial podcasts. (See the list of blogs – many also have podcasts. You’ll have to search your podcast app to find them. Or google “financial podcasts”)
- Bank Accounts and Credit Cards — Compare and Contrast two (or more) banks or credit cards. You will include information such as service charges, interest rates, etc.
- Compare a regular big bank (i.e., CIBC, RBC, TD, Scotiabank, etc) to a discount bank (Simplii, Tangerine) or credit union (Kawartha Credit Union, Ganaraska Credit Union, etc)
- Compare a store rewards credit card (i.e., PC Financial MC, Canadian Tire MC, Costco MC) to a regular bank card or other (ex. American Express)
- Savings Ideas — Describe and critique one of the following “savings” ideas:
- Timeline vs Intensity (Afford Anything)
- The Money Jar (Gail Vaz-Oxlade)
- Grow the Gap (Afford Anything)
- Saving is Sexy (Humble Dollar)
- Challenge Everything (J. Money – Budgets are Sexy)
- “Spaving” (J. Money – Budgets are Sexy)
- The 1% Challenge (Afford Anything)
- The $5 Bill Trick (Rockstar Finance)
- The Zero Day Challenge (Zero Day Finance)
- Definitions — Define the following and describe why it matters. Include examples.
- Time Value of Money
- Passive Income
- Net Worth
- Credit Score/Credit Rating
- Risk Evaluation (in relation to investments)
- Gross income vs Net income
- Mutual Funds
- Index Funds
- Consumer Debt
- Needs vs. Wants
- Calculations — Explain how to perform these calculations, show two examples, link to at least two spreadsheets or apps that can help with these.
- Retirement (ie. When can you retire or how much will you need)
- Net worth
- Mortgages – what can you afford to buy?
- Mortgages – what will that house really cost?
- The Rule of 72
- Financial Rules (or Myths?) — Describe and critique one of these – rules or myths…
- Pay yourself first.
- Keep 3 months net income in an emergency fund account.
- Make and follow a budget.
- The 4% rule for retirement
- A penny saved is a penny earned.
- Pay off your mortgage first!
- Money doesn’t buy happiness
- “It’s not what you earn, it’s what you spend.”
- Innovations — Describe and critique.
- The Financial Gym
- Financial Independence (aka Early Retirement)
- Vanguard Funds
- Minimalist Finance
- Calculators — Compare and contrast two versions of the following calculators (either online or mobile app versions)
- Investment/TVM solver
- Apps — Describe and critique a financial app of your choice (check with Ms. Dempsey first) or try one of these suggestions:
- Miscellaneous — Describe and critique.
- “The Year of No Spending”
- The Power of 10X Thinking (Afford Anything)
- The Anti-Budget (Afford Anything)
- Present Bias (Young and Thrifty)
- The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement (Mr. Money Moustache)
- The Four Types of Expenses (Budgets are Sexy)
- Buying a New Car vs. Buying a Used Car
- Buying a Car vs. Leasing a Car
- The Financial Diet
- Financial Feng Shui
- The Olden Days — Define the following and describe why these ideas are going the way of the dodo bird. Include examples and/or calculations to show how they worked.
- Balancing your chequebook.
- Retiring on a Pension Plan
- Interview a senior citizen (but don’t tell them they are a senior citizen!) about how they planned for their retirement.
- OR interview a senior citizen about their best ideas for saving money.
Thank you for allowing us to share this with everyone today, Carla! I really do hope other teachers and schools are reading this right now…
What do you guys think?? A class you wish you had the opportunity to take growing up? (If they even had internet back then? (Heyo!))
If I ever become a teacher, I’ll have to merge some of this into my own imagined up course syllabus: How To Become a Millionaire, Son! Packed classroom every time, guaranteed ;)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!