PersonalFinanceLab.com is used by nearly 1,000 teachers each year and we love getting to know each and every one of them! Everyday we are impressed by their dedication and the many unique and innovative ways to teach students about Personal Finance. Today we celebrate one of our many outstanding educators — Terry Ley, a high school Personal Finance, Accounting, Microsoft Applications, and Web Design teacher.
How do you incorporate PersonalFinanceLab into your unique cirriculum?
Ley: “It’s [PersonalFinanceLab] definitely planned into the curriculum. [..] Once we finish my budgeting unit, then we play [The Budget Game]. And they [students] play that for two months.
I’ve created a worksheet that goes with it. And they have to answer questions along the way. It includes challenges they’ve had, things that went well, what they would do differently the next time they play, and then life lessons that they’ve learned. Then we will play again, later in the semester, as we learn more about credit cards and all that.
I also just introduced the stock market game. In my class, we just learned about stocks. Today, I’m finishing up teaching them about mutual funds. And so this week, in the stock market game, they have to buy two stocks and one mutual fund. And I require that they spend about $10,000, every week on three different stocks or stocks and mutual funds. So that way, they’re always researching and always trying to discover new, hot stocks that they think will do well.”
How do you make teaching financial literacy relevant to students’ lives today?
Ley: “I work really hard to make my class very real life and very relevant. I love the budget game, because it’s the unexpected expenses [that] come up, and they have to deal with them. And, you know, some kids complain, ‘I had three flat tires last week or two speeding tickets,’ and they’re frustrated with that. But you know, I’d say, Well, does that ever happen? And then, they have got to find a way to deal with it. But yes, I try to incorporate as much real life into my classes as I can.”
How do you grade students on their use of the Budget Game?
Ley: “I do not grade on performance of their investments, I just grade that they have purchased three brand new stocks. Every student has a a paper copy of a portfolio and they have to fill out the portfolio. They have to go get all the information, like earnings per share, PE ratio, earnings growth, PEG ratio, large cap/small cap, what is the value of that, the 52 week range, the beta number. I want them to actually have to do some research. And I’ve have guest speakers come in and talk about what type of beta number to look for? What beta number are they looking for? What’s a good PE ratio? That type of thing. And so they have some guidelines, and hopefully those guidelines from our guess speakers guide them as they make their choices.”
What do you love most about PersonalFinanceLab?
Ley: “I love PersonalFinanceLab, because it has the two parts to it — the Budget Game and the Stock Market Game. The Budget Game is super engaging for the students. And it’s fun to sit back once they’re into it. And the students start talking and chatting with, you know, their neighbors about the good things going on, or the frustrating things going on. And what I love, particularly about the Budget Game, is that it incorporates their credit score and lifestyle, that type of thing. They have to think about the ramifications of partying too much on the weekend, or studying too much and not doing other things, or if they don’t work. And so it incorporates a lot of extra things that they need to really think about and not just doing one thing and trying to get a high score. So it’s a great fit into a classroom […] overall, it’s a great, great addition to my class.”
Helping students reach a deeper level of financial literacy is our goal at PersonalFinanceLab, and it wouldn’t be possible without teachers like Terry Ley and teachers like you!
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