The story of each individual’s math education can be represented, in stages, by the sets of numbers which he or she has used as a universe of discourse. A universe of discourse is best thought of, in math terms, as the largest set of numbers being talked about — i.e., the set of numbers from which all solutions to problems and equations must be drawn.
In the beginning, we usually have only the counting numbers or the whole numbers, and if a number isn’t in one of those sets it doesn’t exist. That’s why, for example, a 1st-grader will solemnly assure us that, “5 doesn’t go into 19” and, “You can’t take 5 from 3!”
Once the rational numbers, including negative integers, have been revealed, many new problems become solvable. The process continues until the entire set of real numbers is on the table, including the somewhat mysterious irrationals. This is a “map” of the real numbers:
The next, and last, big step is the introduction of the imaginary numbers, when the square root of -1 is defined to be the imaginary unit, i. When the imaginaries are added to the reals, we have the set (or, more properly speaking, the field) of complex numbers. Any number of the form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers, is a complex number. If b happens to be 0, then a + bi is the real number, a. If b is not 0, then a + bi is an imaginary number.
The complete picture looks like this:
Sometimes there is confusion on this last point: Some contend that, for example, 2 + 3i is “complex,” while 3i is not. This is incorrect: 2 + 3i and 3i are imaginary numbers (try finding them on a number line!), but both are complex, because both can be written in the form a + bi.
In our changing economy, college entrance isn’t the only path to a successful career. However, high school students must be prepared to enter the workforce lest they flounder in minimum wage jobs. Additionally, a university education doesn’t guarantee career success. Graduates need various skills which they aren’t likely to learn in lecture halls.
Most parents and teachers focus on raising test scores to help high school students enter college. However, even those students who pursue higher education directly after graduation may need to work, and all graduates will eventually be initiated into the job market. If helping your student realize a lucrative career is important to you, you may wonder what else you need to consider.
There are avenues you can pursue to ready your high school student for their future career. Whether they embark on a college education or enter the workforce immediately, the preparation you have initiated will help them realize success.
Future Ready Students
What are future ready students and what is the significance of future readiness? The careers of the future require more than a degree to compete in the global economy. Future readiness is a term used to describe students who are adequately prepared to enter the workforce. There are multiple factors which contribute to your student’s future readiness.
A helpful resource in determining your child’s future readiness is the College and Career Readiness and Success Organizer. This graphic representation of the many factors to future success can help parents and students target weaknesses and create plans to address them. While this infographic has been set up to help schools comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act; it is invaluable to anyone unsure of what career readiness really means.
Every student is an individual, with their own goals and talents. However, here are some key areas you can focus on to help your high school student prepare for the workforce.
Tech Savvy Teens
Most high school students are adept at playing video games, tweeting their thoughts and interacting with the global world through technology. While past generations may have discouraged these skills, there are a multitude of future careers for which technologically savvy students can head.
In fact, more than 7.3 million people were employed in tech jobs in 2016, a growth of 3% from 2015. According to the 2016 “Future of Jobs Report,” many middle management and administrative jobs will disappear by 2020. The report predicts data analysts will be in high demand as changes in the workforce cement. The future of marketing also depends on developments in technology and the needs of global consumers.
Social media coordinators, video game programmers, website optimizers and digital assistants are all careers which require tech-savvy individuals. In a growing tech industry, these are also examples of jobs likely to be in demand over the next few years. However, knowing how to update their Facebook status won’t put your student ahead of the competition. According to a 2014 report, profound technological foundations need to be built and expanded to translate casual technical knowledge into working knowledge.
Working knowledge in technology is increasingly valuable as presented by the Cyberstates 2017 report. The report informs us that while 6.9 million people work in the tech industry, another 7.3 million individuals are employed in tech positions supporting other industries. The resulting 14.2 million workers are somehow involved in technology for their primary source of income. It stands to reason that understanding the tech industry and its components is valuable across the job market.
Excerpt from CompTIA Cyberstates 2017 report.
The future ready student must understand technology, be digitally literate and practice good digital citizenship. Here are some steps to developing your teen’s technological skills with possible career paths in mind.
- Encourage your student to develop existing tech skills. Enrollment in free online courses via Coursera or participation in school tech projects are great ways to expand your student’s skills.
- Engage your teen in understanding how to evaluate the authenticity of digital information, use technology to research and communicate, and collaborate with others. While some teens may already be digitally literate, many use social media irresponsibly or cannot discern genuine resources from false facts.
- Ensure your teen practices good digital citizenship. Key components include safe browsing, password security, and responsible sharing. Make sure your high school student is aware of how their online interactions can affect future job prospects.
Employees who have multiple skill sets and continue to develop themselves professionally are in high demand. Encourage your high school student to pursue lifelong learning on their chosen path. The idea that graduation or earning a degree is the end of education is no longer relevant. Many employers actively search for individuals who can adapt to changing economic needs and are open to continual learning.
Additionally, those employees who demonstrate an ability to adapt to work environment changes are likely to succeed over others. A 2013 report cited capacity to work in a team, fluid intelligence, problem-solving and innovation as influential factors to success in the 21st-century workplace.
Source: November 2013 ETS Research Report, 21st Century Workforce Competencies
Teamwork is critical in many workplaces. Sports, clubs and even gaming teams can demonstrate the importance of teamwork. Employees are also called upon to work autonomously in many roles. Teaching your high school student to be responsible, set their deadlines and be accountable is imperative to future success. Here are a few ways to develop your high school student’s adaptability.
- Encourage your teen to volunteer or work part-time during summer or holiday breaks.
- Enroll your student in skill-based courses online or in person. Develop a diverse portfolio of skills which will make them more desirable to employers.
- Encourage team sports, clubs, etc.
- Require accountability from your teen. Set savings goals for teens with jobs. Follow up with study and homework assignments to show your teen the value of planning. Reward positive behavior and responsibility from your high schooler.
When we mention emotional stability for the future ready student, there are a few ways to measure this. However, it’s important to note that employers want dependable workers who can perform under pressure when necessary.
Experiences gained through volunteer work, part-time jobs and team activities are valuable in creating emotional stability. Talking to your teen about their goals and plans realistically is another important step for parents. Parents who encourage unrealistic aims and expectations are only setting teens up for failure.
The World Economic Forum lists emotional intelligence sixth in their list of Top 10 Skills for workers in 2020. That’s a significant change from 2015 when emotional intelligence didn’t make the list. This change shows how employers are adapting their hiring models and how job seekers must evolve to compete.
Commitment to Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning for career development is nothing new. In fact, a 1981 report by the National Institute of Education touted the importance of lifelong development to career success. However, the report and subsequent employer investment hinged significantly on experiential learning. In the workplace of today, corporate seminars and classes aren’t enough for the ambitious worker.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 27% of adults surveyed reported holding a non-degree credential. These credentials included postsecondary certificates, certifications, and licenses. The report shows a correlation between continuing education and earnings, employment and advancement in a career.
For example, the earnings of those surveyed directly increased along with the percentage of individuals holding non-degree credentials. Only 19%, of those surveyed to have earned less than $20,000 from 2015 to 2016, held a non-degree credential. Meanwhile, 31% of individuals who made $20,000 to $50,000 in that same period, held a non-degree credential. And, 41% who earned more than $50,000, during that time frame, held at least one non-degree credential.
Experts agree that the job market is changing. Many common positions may cease to exist in 20 years. A May 2017 NY Times article posited that truck and cab drivers, even accountants would soon be obsolete. Instilling the value of extended learning, outside a classroom, in your high school student can help them achieve future goals.
- Engage in continued education with your high school student. Take online courses through Coursera or Academic Earth.
- Encourage your high school student to learn new skills or ideas through open learning opportunities. Courses are available through the The Open University.
- Incorporate weekly Ted Talks into your teen’s schedule. This informal resource can help them present themselves better to future employers.
- Linguistic development is a tremendous asset for businesses, have your teen practice or learn a new language with Duolingo.
- Encourage your high school student to learn coding and other web development skills. Utilize resources like Codecademy, Treehouse, and The Code Player.
Being ready to compete in the fast-paced job market of tomorrow will take more than extra courses, informational videos, and a stable personality. Everything your teen has done before graduation can be used to make them more attractive to employers. High school students should have some form of work experience before graduation. Volunteer work, internships and part-time jobs all count as valuable experience.
Although work in STEM continues to advance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the fastest growing occupations from 2014 to 2024 will require little or no college education. Wind turbine technicians, for example, are expected to increase by 108% during the projected timeframe. Other occupations like occupational therapy assistants and interpreters are expected to increase by 29 to 40% from 2014 to 2024.
A report released in April of 2017 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted only 69.7% of 2016 high school graduates enrolled in college. That leaves 31.3% of students looking for work. However, only 72.3% of youth not enrolled in college were engaged in the workforce. This disparity is likely due to teens being unprepared for workforce competition.
Interestingly, 72.9% of high school graduates held jobs in 2016. While the figures jumped to 82.5% among youth with some college or associate’s education. Meanwhile, the greatest employment gap remains among individuals without a high school diploma, with only 52.9% engaged in the workforce. To improve these numbers, teens and young adults need to embrace alternative education and other development opportunities.
There are a multitude of volunteer opportunities for the teen looking to add to their portfolio. However, focusing on those experiences which represent the right traits and point towards a future career is a smart move.
For teens who want to branch into the animal industry, there are plenty of opportunities which will demonstrate a love for animals. High school students can walk dogs for the local shelter, walk and feed dogs for senior citizens living alone or make signs for lost dogs through local networks.
High schoolers who want to branch into customer service will find they are better served by work which helps people directly. Suggest your teen organize a toy or food drive, hold a car wash, bake sale or rummage sale and donate the money to charity, or volunteer at a homeless or women’s shelter.
Additionally, teens pursuing employment in a specialized field like technology or accounting can volunteer their services to help the elderly or any non-profit organization. Using their skills to assist a non-profit will prove competence and dedication.
Similarly, some companies may offer internships where your student can gain experience without pay. Often, narrowing down the industries your teen would like to target will help the process. Have your teen find companies which operate in their preferred sector. Then, have them apply to work as an intern.
Although they will likely spend time getting coffee and running errands, they will gain an understanding of how the industry works and hopefully references for future applications.
Never underestimate the value of actual work experience for young adults pursuing careers. Regardless of the industry or position, teens can parlay a good work ethic into valuable references or recommendations. In 2016, retail salespersons, cashiers and food workers still top U.S. occupations in sheer numbers. Consequently, gaining some work experience is a practical step for high school students before entering professional careers.
For the self-starting high school student, running their own business is a huge advantage for future employment. Something as simple as mowing lawns or selling items on eBay for community members can teach your teen about business and gain them professional references.
For high school students who want to experience life before college or a career, consider encouraging them to earn a TEFL certificate and teach English abroad. This path counts as work experience (potentially, also as volunteering) and adds valuable life experience with travel and cultural awareness. Additionally, working while traveling is much more beneficial to your teen’s future career than backpacking aimlessly.
Helping your high school student prepare for a career will require at least some focus on the application and interview process. Remember, even the most qualified individual must prove their worth before getting the job.
Creating a resume or CV is a task which many young adults underestimate. However, the truth is their resume is your teen’s foot in the door. A poorly written or formatted resume will be pushed aside, regardless of qualifications. For that reason, teaching high school students how to create the right sales pitch for each job is important.
Have your high school graduate write multiple resumes or CVs for different job types and review them against the guidelines on WikiHow. Pay particular attention to format and wording when critiquing your teen’s resume. Also, practice writing cover letters and discuss appropriate references.
If you have built a foundation of emotional stability, confidence should be inborn for your teen. However, there are some key steps which will project confidence to prospective employers. Have your teens practice the following guidelines for more successful job searches.
- Dress for the job you want. Remind your high school student that their appearance does make a difference to employers. If the job requires a suit and tie, they should present themselves dressed accordingly. The same can be said for overdressing, as it shows a lack of knowledge about the position.
- Make eye contact. Employers judge interviewees on their first impressions. Making eye contact, shaking hands and smiling are all good practices.
- Talk positively. Young adults should speak positively about their experiences, competencies, and goals.
- Make positive statements. Teens must communicate clearly about what they want and what they are worth. Help them practice assertive self-assessment. I.e., “I am always on time,” or ” I am an expert in Java programming.”
In the information age, everything you post online can be an asset or liability. Make sure your high school student understands that employers may search their social media profiles for clues to their real personality. Teens should know how to set privacy rules for their online accounts and understand how information can be connected to them online.
While you may not employ all of these strategies and tips to prepare your high school student for a career, every teen should have a plan. Graduates entering college should be aware of the markets they will attempt to gain employment in and work towards employability while in school. Those teens entering the workforce without a college education should have a solid outline for finding a stable career.
Regardless of plans, each high school student should develop a career plan which includes the following five steps.
- Decide on a career path. Everyone has preferences for the industry in which they’d like to work. Knowing what they want to do (even for now) will help teens achieve future goals.
- Understand career expectations. Being realistic in goals is critical to confidence and achievement. Help your high school student research what qualifications their preferred career will require.
- Create actionable steps. Once your teen knows the requirements they will need for success, help them create a path. Enrollment in online courses, fine-tuning recreational skills, and choosing continued education resources will help teens solidify their usefulness to employers.
- Advertise their assets. Help your high school student create a professional resume and appearance for job hunting. Encourage them to begin looking before graduation and search on a schedule.
- Allow for time. Encourage your student to gain work or volunteer experience while searching for the right career opportunity. Don’t let them be discouraged by the slow process of finding the right job.
Involve Your Teen
The evolving job market can be intimidating to new high school graduates, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be prepared. Helping your teen understand the core competencies needed for continued success in the 21st-century workplace is the first step in preparation. Your high school student should be an active partner in achieving their future goals.
Consequently, discussing the ways your high school student can prepare for a career is the first step in any plan. Communicate the importance of making decisions and working towards their goals. Help your high schooler map out their future; don’t depend on covert steering to get them on track. Teenagers must play an active role in their futures, or they won’t be inclined to continue work on the foundation you’ve laid with them.
For parents and teachers who want to prepare high school students for career success, it may be easy to take the reins. However, remember your high schooler will soon be a young adult steering themselves through life. Share this article with them and discuss their goals, skills, and options. Be realistic about plans and encourage them to find the path which works for them.
Any of us around on that day in 2001 remember the emotion and uncertainty of those first few hours. Our students, though, have no such memories. All they know they will come from their parents, from us, from YouTube, or from elsewhere. So what to do? How to convey not just the heartbreak and bewilderment but – most importantly – the facts and the hindsight that time affords? Well, as professional teachers, you’ve found ways. You know what works, and what may need some tweaking. We’ve found a few good sites that may help infuse your plans with some new or different perspectives.
As stated on its website, this program is a collaboration between the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the NYC Department of Education, and the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education. Lesson plans are divided by grade level, containing material appropriate to the age of the learners. Teaching guides are included, as well.
MCTSR also has many plans grouped by grade level. Of particular note is “The Second Day,” a video created by a 14 year-old student who lived blocks from Ground Zero.
This National Public Radio article offers less pedagogical insight, but does include perspective about the years after the attack. There are some useful links embedded in the report – including one to the aforementioned 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
Created on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, these plans were created by a middle school language arts teacher in Ohio. She offers a number of strategies and mindsets to help with teaching the multiple perspectives of the terrorist attacks.
Offering the perspective of those indirectly and unjustly blamed for the attacks, this article provides information that could be used in the teaching of the subject. Though it offers no lesson plans, the first-hand accounts it contains could be fodder for deeper discussions about the reactions of people in the days- and years- after 9/11.
All of these can, in some way, provide teachers with new angles and additional information for teaching this very complex event. We hope this helps in even the smallest of ways.
Photo Credit to: https://www.flickr.com/people/themachinestops
About the Author
Kirby Spivey taught AP World History, US History, and numerous other Social Studies courses in Georgia. Mr. Spivey currently leads USATestprep’s Social Studies content team. He and his wife live in Atlanta. He was helping students with a project on Federalism in the school library when the first plane hit the North Tower.
For a teacher, it is important to bring real-world experiences and events to the students in the classroom. These teachable moments happen every day. With access to social media and 24-hour news, it is easy to find information to share and use with your students. These can range from small, local events to larger, national or international ones. There is a wonderful teachable moment occurring on August 21, 2017 in all North America…a solar eclipse.
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse is a celestial event in which the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun. The sun is much larger than the moon, but they appear to be about the same size as we observe them, due to the sun’s being about 400 times further away from the Earth.. As the moon passes in front of the sun, it casts a shadow on the Earth. The fully shaded area of the moon’s shadow is known as the umbra. The partially shaded area from the shadow is the penumbra. In a total eclipse, the moon completely covers the sun, while in a partial eclipse only part of the sun is blocked. During a total eclipse, observers will witness the solar corona as a bright area circling the moon. This event can last up to 3 hours, with most places being able to see the eclipse for approximately 1 to 3 minutes.
How often do they occur?
Total eclipses are not as rare as one might believe. A total solar eclipse occurs approximately every 18 months on some part of the Earth. What is rare is how often the same location will witness a solar eclipse. Many areas go centuries between total solar eclipses. For example, the last time Atlanta, Georgia experienced a total solar eclipse was June 24, 1778, and it will not experience another until May 11, 2078. The last one that was visible to parts of the United States occurred on February 26, 1978, but this was only witnessed by those in the northwestern states and Canada. The next total solar eclipse to travel across parts of the Unites States (from Texas to Maine) will occur on April 8, 2024.
Who will be able to see this eclipse on August 21, 2017?
On this day, parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, while all of the United States will be able to witness between 75% and 100% of the eclipse. You must be in the thin path of totality if you want to witness the total solar eclipse. The path of totality is only about 70 miles wide, and it will start on the West Coast and extend to the East Coast. The path of totality will extend from Lincoln Beach, Oregon (starting at 9:05 am PDT), across the United States to Charleston, South Carolina (starting at 2:48 pm EDT). Carbondale, Illinois will witness the longest duration where the totality will last 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
What are some of the teachable moments from the eclipse?
Science: This should be the most obvious one. This is a great time to discuss the science behind an eclipse. Use models and flashlights to help, if available. If not, have the students draw and color pictures. There are also some good vocabulary terms to introduce (e.g., corona, umbra, penumbra, etc.). This is also a good time to talk about lunar phases, orbits, and even the solar system in general.
Math: There is lots of good numerical data that can be incorporated into your lessons. Distances from the Earth to the sun vs. the distance from the Earth to the moon, for example Also, the diameter of the sun, earth, and moon can be used to show how the width of path of totality. Students can also do graphing of distance vs. time, to help see how fast the eclipse will travel across the United States.
Language Arts and Social Studies: Students can write eclipse poems, or such as haikus. There are books that have “eclipse” as their focus, such as American Eclipse, by David Baron or Mask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses. by John Dvorak. There are also many myths and superstitions associated with an eclipse. Anything from dogs trying to steal the sun on orders from a king (Korea), to a frog that eats the sun (Vietnam), and even that the sun and moon are fighting (the Batammaliba, Africa). See if the students can create and share their own “myth” behind an eclipse.
It is important to remember not to look directly at the eclipse, as it will cause damage to your eyes. Many schools, museums, and libraries have a limited supply of the special glasses you need to view the eclipse. You can also purchase them through many online retailers. This is a rare celestial event that may not come by a city near you for many years to come. Enjoy the day!
As educators, we’re well aware of the need for better technology in the classroom – technology that not only improves learning but also makes our jobs easier. There is a growing list of challenges we face as educators: the endless grading of papers, the search for teaching resources, the need to tailor lessons to each student’s learning style.
As technology continues to change, the role that technology can play in K12 education is also quickly changing. We’re not talking about replacing teachers with robots! We are looking at how educators can leverage technology to better support our teaching efforts. Here are five methods educators are using, nationwide, to improve student achievement while reducing the time demands placed on themselves.
1. Instant Grading and Feedback
Many teachers are finding the ability to autograde assignments on a curriculum practice website to be one of the most useful enhancements made possible with technology. Hand-grading is antiquated, since most practice and curriculum platforms can assess multiple choice, short answer, true/false, and many other question types. Alongside the score, students can also receive an explanation as to why their answer was marked incorrect. This immediate feedback is crucial in the learning process, as these students are accustomed to a fast-paced society that provides instant gratification. Instant grading and feedback can be done on USATestprep’s platform.
2. Self-Directed Learning
Students learn at different rates, with various learning styles, and in a variety of settings. Their backgrounds and level of required support also vary. Online learning platforms allow each student to interact with the content at his or her own level and speed. Many websites, including USATestprep, offer assistive technology features to increase student achievement, such as word prediction, screen readers, closed captioning, and highlighting tools. Online content is readily available at all times, which is great for students who need extra time to complete assignments or those who want extra practice.
3. Assessment-Based Differentiation
Facilitating formal and informal assessments on a web-based platform can provide educators and students with results and easy-to-use data upon completion. These results help evaluate student mastery of the standards and domains, and allow students and teachers to develop plans of action and remediation. Many educators then choose to assign students practice work to strengthen their foundations within the standards. Differentiation is easily implemented on sites such as USATestprep, by providing one-click entry to resources specifically designed to focus on the subject matter.
4. Supplemental Instructional Resources
As educators, we are constantly adding resources to our toolboxes. Websites such as Pinterest and internet searches can flood our minds with sample lesson ideas and downloadable templates for the classroom. Often, we can waste time recreating the wheel when it has already been made for us. There are websites designed to be a one-stop shop for us. These sites include resources that supplement instruction throughout the learning cycle. Look for websites that include videos that can be used for introducing a concept, vocabulary terms that can reinforce the lesson, performance tasks that encourage the students to interact with the content, and an open test bank of questions to build assessments. To see how these practice items can work in your lessons, request a live demo.
“Even the students that struggle the most find something that catches their attention in USATestprep.”
5. Engaging Content
While many websites may provide resources for the teachers, we must also consider the level of engagement for students. Today’s students need stimulating colors and graphics, interactive content, lively videos, and real-world application questions. Carla Devereaux, at Babb Middle School, has found that, “Even the students that struggle the most find something that catches their attention in USATestprep.” Some websites offer a token-based reward system for games that allow students to take brain breaks between questions or assignments. Other sites may provide content-based games that allow students to progress as they continue answering questions correctly. Students can also use technology to study abroad in the global classroom with students in other parts of the world, via video or streaming sites.
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by Beth Kotz
The typical high school curriculum covers a tremendous breadth of information on a wide range of topics, yet personal finance is rarely among them.
Considering many high school students will soon be college students, ready to take on student loans, open bank accounts and learn how credit cards work, perhaps it’s time that money management takes on a more prominent role in high school classes.
If you’d like to incorporate personal finance into your lesson plans, here are seven free resources to help get you started.
Practical Money Skills
It’s no secret that students learn more effectively when they’re excited and engaged with a lesson, and the Practical Money Skills website tries to boost engagement by wrapping its lessons into slick, interactive games that cater to students of all ages. All the basic skills of financial literacy are covered, from simple money management to good debt practices, and the site also features additional educational materials and resources. Grade-appropriate lesson plans are also available for teachers.
The brainchild of Brian Page, a nationally-recognized personal finance and economics teacher from Ohio, FinEdChat is an effort to boost engagement and encourage financial literacy education. The centerpiece of this effort is the FinEdChat blog, which features an abundance of useful information and resources for teachers interested in incorporating financial education into their lesson plans. Page also operates the informative FinEdChat Twitter account, and the “#FinEdChat” hashtag makes it easy to keep track of the latest developments in financial education at the high school level.
Sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, OnGuardOnline offers a powerful toolkit aimed at educating students on how to protect themselves and their sensitive information online. Students can play games that teach them how to recognize phishing attacks, how to respond to a hacking attempt and how to differentiate between what information is and isn’t safe to share. The site also provides educators with a variety of games, lesson plans and other tools to use in the classroom and share with parents and the community at large.
Few things are more important to a child’s financial future than learning how to create and manage a budget. As an educator, you can use budget simulators to teach the importance of creating a budget, balancing a checkbook and handling other important duties in a fun and engaging way. Budget Challenge offers a comprehensive simulation that accomplishes just that, and it even includes a mobile app so students can stay engaged on the go.
Financial Literacy Month
Created by a group of financial experts at Money Management International, Financial Literacy Month is a 30-day program intended to give people of all ages the tools needed to lead a successful financial life. Although Financial Literacy Month officially begins on April 1, the 30-step program can be incorporated into a curriculum at any time of the year to serve as a roadmap to financial literacy. The initiative also includes an assortment of worksheets, educational materials and even a personalized certificate to keep students motivated.
Finance in the Classroom
Though originally created by the Utah State Board of Education, Finance in the Classroom is a versatile resource for teachers, students and parents across the country. The website provides an assortment of course outlines, activities, lesson plans and other resources for teachers as well as interactive games and other tools for students from kindergarten through grade 12. For teachers in Utah, the platform also includes professional development tools, boot camps and other activities.
Online Personal Finance Games
Surveys have shown that more than 91 percent of children play video games, making games an exceptionally useful platform for reaching students and engaging them directly with their lessons. Personal finance games like those from Commonwealth, Gen i Revolution and Practical Money Skills turn games into powerful teaching tools to educate students on everything from basic accounting and budgeting to investment and retirement savings.
Though an increasing number of states are beginning to require some form of personal finance education at the high school level, many high schoolers still graduate without having obtained the skills necessary to manage their finances. Educators are in a great position to make an impact and teach financial literacy, but they need the tools to do it effectively. The free resources above provide exactly that, offering games, activities, plans and other information that will engage students and leave them far better equipped to handle the world that awaits after graduation.
Beth Kotz is a contributing writer to Credit.com. She specializes in covering financial advice for female entrepreneurs, college students and recent graduates. She earned a BA in Communications and Media from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where she continues to live and work.
For those of a certain age, a box of 64 crayons- the one with the sharpener in the back- represented the apex of childhood happiness. While slogging through days of teaching my 9th graders about Medieval Europe, I’d often long for the carefree days of just coloring away in my Batman activity book as a kid on my grandmother’s back porch. But childish pursuits are behind us and our high school scholars.
Well of course they aren’t.
One school in California is finding the childhood pastime to be a great way to relieve stress in for students, particularly the high-achieving ones. A recent article in School Library Journal detailed Valencia High School’s efforts to reduce student- and staff- anxiety through the simple act of coloring. According to Joy Millam, the school’s teacher librarian, coloring relaxes students because it “requires single-minded focus, while its structure makes it soothing.”
This should remind all of us to take stock of the stress levels of our kids. The demands on them are great, often greater than they let on or than we know. Academics, athletics, extracurriculars, relationships, all of these pile on kids who often lack the coping tools for these burdens. Finding a productive way to help them vent those tensions- whether through coloring or some other activity- could not only help them focus, it could benefit the entire learning environment at your school.
For the whole story on Valencia High School, check out the article here.
About the Author
Kirby Spivey taught AP World History, US History, and numerous other Social Studies courses in Georgia. Mr Spivey currently leads USATestprep’s Social Studies content team. He and his wife live in Atlanta and own several coloring books.
If you’re up against the clock, you may feel as though planning your essay is a waste of time. Surely it’s better just to sit down and get writing? Not so. If you plan an assignment properly, you can remove a lot of the pressure. After all, you’ll have the roadmap to your work laid out in front of you. Here’s 7 tips to help you get the best structure for your assignment.
- Plan your paragraphs
Every paragraph in your essay should have a clear point to it. Write a clear topic sentence for every paragraph you plan to include, and think about how you’re going to describe your ideas. Will you compare and contrast ideas, list sources, or present a solution to the problem?
- Link your paragraphs together
Once you know how your paragraphs are going to read, you need to know how to link them together. You want them to all work together in order to back up your main argument. Look for a theme in your plans so far, as you can use that in your links. Use linking words such as ‘Similarly’, ‘Consequently’, and ‘Outcomes included’ to show you’re about to move onto a new idea.
- Use your word count as a guide
Your word count will be a good indication of how much detail you’re expected to go into. 500 words will be an overview of a topic, 1000 words will want at least one idea fully explored, and 2000 words will need much more dissection of the topic at hand. If you need a hand keeping to your word count, use a tool to keep you on task.
- Keep on top of your grammar
When planning your assignment, you’ll need to make sure that you can get your grammar spot on. Good grammar is the basis of good writing, so it needs to be perfect.
- Make sure you’re citing correctly
In the planning stages, you’ll be bringing all of your research together, so you can start to formulate an argument. Before you do so, make sure you have all of the right citations for your work. If you fail to include them, you could lose marks or even be accused of plagiarism. Make sure that you have the right citations by using a tool.
- Get the formatting right
Every university and every professor will have slightly different requirements for formatting, so read your assignment brief to find out what you need to do. This can help inform you of the layout of your essay.
- Use the ‘three parts’ rule
Every good assignment will have a three-part structure. There will be an introduction, the main body of your argument, and the conclusion. Essentially you’re telling the reader what you’re about to say, then you’re saying what you have to say, and then you’re reiterating what you said. If you have these three parts, you can be sure that you’re covering all the main points.
If you follow these tips, you can get an excellent essay plan written. Then, all you have to do is follow it to get the best essay written. A good plan can save a lot of stress and hassle when you’re writing, so give it a try.
Mary Walton is an online tutor and proofreader from Santa Monica. She lived in Australia for 10 years and gained her degree in creative writing at the University of Melbourne. She’s worked with people of all ages as they’ve made their way through their educational careers, from starting to school to graduating from university.
After an in-depth process of research, evaluation of resources, critical thinking, planning, and writing, you come down to a final product that’s called a research paper. This is not a simple extended essay. It’s a much more complex assignment that requires a lot of time and effort to complete.
When students face this type of assignment, it’s only natural for them to feel anxious about completing it. The best way to beat that anxiety is to have a rock-solid plan that will take you to a successful result. When you’re taking actionable steps towards tangible goals, the research paper challenge seems possible to tackle.
Remember: learning how to write research papers in high school will make your life as a college student much easier. You’ll be writing plenty of research papers if you plan to go to college.
We’ll give you a detailed guide of 10 steps to take towards the completion of an argumentative research paper.
- Be Mentally Prepared
Before you start writing this paper, you need to work on your mindset. The research paper is a huge challenge. However, your teacher already covered the topic in general and you do have a foundation of knowledge. You’ll only need to locate relevant information, come up with a thesis statement, and express your arguments in the paper. You can do it!
- Define the Purpose of Your Research Paper
Your teacher gave you guidelines or a research paper question. Now, you need to define your point of view, which you’ll translate in a thesis statement. The guidelines are usually general, so you’ll have to narrow them down.
- Even the most boring topics can be approached from an unusual angle. Find a point that interests you and use it as the foundation of that assignment. If, for example, the general instruction is to write a research paper on global warming, you can pick a narrow theme: how it affects rainforests or an animal you love.
- By the end of this step, you should come up with a thesis statement. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should have it as the foundation of every following step.
- Collect Sources
Now, it’s time for the hard work: the research process. You can use only reliable information from books, journal articles, interviews, encyclopedias, and authoritative web pages.
- If you really want to impress your teacher, you should use books. Visit the school library!
- Use Google Scholar to find resources you can use.
- You don’t have to read them all at this point. Just briefly examine them to see if they are relevant to your topic. At the end of this stage, pick at least five sources that you’ll explore in details and you’ll use in the research paper.
- Read, Categorize, and Document the Information
Read them! Take notes on how you plan to use the information from those sources in your paper. How do they support or defy your point of view? Make sure to note down where each idea is coming from.
- Write an Outline with Proper Structure
An outline will keep the discussion organized around the main thesis statement.
- Organize the outline according to your teacher’s instructions. The paper should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Plan what you’ll write in each section of the paper.
- Start Writing the Body Paragraphs
You might think that the introduction is the best place to start, but that’s not true. It’s recommended to start with the body of the research paper. At this point, you have a thesis statement, but you can manipulate it as your ideas progress.
- Start with the body paragraphs and follow the outline, but don’t be afraid to alter it along the way.
- Make clear points and support them with evidence from your sources.
- Write the Conclusion
Now that you’ve exposed your arguments and supported them with evidence, it’s time for the conclusion. This should be a brief summary of your findings. The reader should have a complete impression. Don’t introduce any new ideas here.
- Write the Introduction
Read through your paper. How would you introduce it to someone in few sentences? This is exactly why we positioned the introduction as the 8th step of this guide. Now, you can introduce your arguments in a believable way that gets the attention of your reader.
- Write and Format the Bibliography
It’s important to reference all sources you used. If your teacher didn’t give instructions on proper referencing, you can find and follow the guidelines for APA, MLA, or Chicago styles. Choose the one that’s suitable for the topic’s area of study.
- Edit the Paper
Congratulations! You have your first draft. Now, it’s time to polish it out. Read it thoroughly and improve the logical flow. Don’t hold back to get rid of some parts if they are not necessary. If you feel like you need to add more information, do it at this stage.
Finally, you’ll do a final proofreading and your research paper will be ready to go.
Research paper writing seems easy when you read about it, right? In practice, it’s a complex process that requires full focus. That’s why it’s important to practice and start early. Start today!
Chris Richardson is an editor and a blogger. He is passionate about writing, traveling, and photography. Chris loves to meet new people and talk about modern education and technologies.
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