Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Quiz For Kids Worth Taking

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is a private non-profit national foundation dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life. NEFE is a forward-thinking trustworthy resource you can rely on for a wide variety of financial education material. They are most widely recognized for their excellent free high school modules.

The particular tool I am motivated to share is a research based tool in NEFE's Smart About Money program, the Life Values Quiz. Students respond to a series of questions and responses categorize their values to explain what motivates them; what makes them happy. This is of particular importance early in a personal finance course as educators should lay the groundwork for establishing a student centered culture that connects financial literacy tools and concepts to individual students goals and values.

Here is how I integrate the tool in my classroom. 
- See more at:
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is the leading private nonprofit 501(c)(3) national foundation dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life.
- See more at:
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is the leading private nonprofit 501(c)(3) national foundation dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life.
- See more at:

5 classroom tips to nudge financial knowledge to behavior

My friend Dan Kadlec pointed out in this recent piece that "A growing body of research suggests that money reminders tweeted, texted, emailed or otherwise delivered through social media fall on receptive eyes." Kadlec also noted "A study led by Barbara O’Neill at the Rutgers Co-operative Extension found that Twitter and Facebook messages to adults raised awareness about money issues even if they didn’t always lead to behavioral change."

AmericaSaves are believers as well. This month they heavily promoted their "Pledge to Save" text messaging service. So let's incorporate these techniques into our pedagogy.

1. Remind101 is a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents, and it's free! For the past couple of weeks I have sent a daily text message encouraging my students to set a savings goal, set up a savings account, and regularly contribute to a savings account (ideally through a direct deposit) to reach their goal.

2. Calendar reminders in their phones should be incorporated whenever possible. As an example, all of us should check our credit reports once a year for free at Have the students set a yearly reminder to do so beginning on their 18th birthdays. Another example is to set reminders for key FAFSA tasks on important dates as you introduce the students to the student aid process.

3. Parent checklists with resources for students and parents to explore together at home are a great way to share leading edge resources like the CFPB's Paying For College.

4. Classroom Twitter accounts can be used to send encouraging texts to save, links to valuable resources, and financial tips that are relevant to students now. If you would like a few ideas, here is my classroom Twitter account. We also have our own website and Pinterest page.

5. Student Twitter and other social media accounts can be utilized as resources to connect students with where to turn when they have questions after they graduate. For example, when we were working through the consumer protection unit, I encouraged students to follow the FTC, CFPB, and Ohio Attorney General. This, of course, was after the students utilized the resources on the government websites to deepen their understanding of the content.

Consumer Action Handbook just released the Consumer Action Handbook

This resource can be tapped for content in class, almost as a virtual textbook. Although I envision the most useful way to use the resource is directly with parents. The information is trust worthy, straight forward, and written in plain English.

Common Core Alignment Tool For Economic and Financial Literacy

The Council for Economic Education have aligned Common Core State Standards to selected publications. This is a useful resourceful for the integration of financial and economic literacy in Math and English and Language Arts, particularly as Common Core alignment is a transitioning to be a requirement across the country.

I added this resource to my favorite Common Core State Standard resources.

The new and improved MyMoney.Gov

MyMoney.Gov recently improved their website. MyMoney.Gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Throughout the site, you will find important information from more than 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.

What I like the most about the new site is the uploaded and interactive 2011 National Strategy For Financial Literacy test, which is an ideal resource for a practice final exam for a personal finance class.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), in collaboration with its partners, developed several educational programs and materials to help Canadians increase their financial and personal money management skills and knowledge.

FCAC materials and several other resources are available for free to educators and program facilitators. FCAC’s educational programs have been used across Canada in learning institutions, by community groups and within the workplace.

For my Canadian followers, please click here to learn more about the FCAC program.

Back to School Tools For Teaching Financial Literacy

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is building an Office of Financial Education. In the process, CFPB has created two useful tools for educators and students that need to make their way into our classrooms.

Ask CFPB allows the user to find posts focused on specific financial education content topics written in plain English, with the consumers best interest at heart. It can be used by students for scavenger hunts, research projects, jigsaw presentations, or as an anchor activity resource. Ask CFPB can be used by educators as a professional development resource to stay on top of the evolving and sometimes complex financial world.

Paying for College is my favorite tool, an interactive infographic guiding the user through the student loan process from beginning to end with excellent advice and resources. This tool should be the go-to resource for financial educators focusing on a student debt lesson, and certainly a resource guidance counselors should use and share with parents.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A missing education link to the labor force

A must watch interview with Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs". After watching this interview, click here if you are interested in how I integrate "Dirty Jobs" into my Careers lesson.