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Centralia High School teacher uses games, competitions, field trips and outside experts to teach financial concepts

Centralia High School teacher uses games, competitions, field trips and outside experts to teach financial concepts

To highlight April as Financial Literacy Month, Misty Poe, a business teacher at Centralia High School in Vermillion USD 380 answered a few questions about what she does to make learning about money and finance fun and meaningful to her students. 

KSDE: Why is it important for your students to learn about money and other financial concepts playing games? Do students grasp the content better this way?  

Ms. Poe: I believe students learn better through gamification. They are definitely more engaged, and it is especially fun when it is competitive! Aside from having fun, students are more open to learning because they will do better and be more competitive against their peers when they have more knowledge.  

KSDE: How is the preparation for competitions and going on these field trips important in the learning process about financial literacy?   

Ms. Poe: First, I teach more rigorous lessons because I want my students to excel, and how are they going to do well without knowledge of the subject they are competing in? Secondly, field trips connect what we are learning to real life scenarios. For example, we learned about business structures shortly before visiting a local small business. One of my students asked the business owner how their business was structured and why. That led to an understanding of how the business was originally set up, followed by why they recently changed to a different business structure. It was awesome!  

KSDE: Are there any competitions your students participated in recently you’d like to highlight?  

Ms. Poe: Yes! Two of my students won a financial literacy essay contest sponsored by the Kansas Insurance Commission. I entered students through KCEE (Kansas Council for Economic Education) after we played the Stock Market Game. One student won $5,000 and the other won $2,000. Additionally, state FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) was held in Topeka on April 4 and 5. I have five students who qualified to compete at the national FBLA Conference in Orlando, Florida, this summer.  

KSDE: Why is it important to have outside speakers AND have your students prepare questions using a KWL chart?   

Ms. Poe: I tell my students that I'm not the expert on what I'm teaching. I have knowledge that I'm sharing, but guest speakers are leaders in their field. I think the KWL (Know, Want to Know, What was Learned) chart makes students think about the topic, speaker, career field, etc. ahead of time, which gets their mind organized and prepared. I always try to grade the KWL before the speaker comes, because some students don't like to speak up, so if they aren't brave enough to ask the questions, I will. We also do the KWL charts because I teach students about active listening and the "perception" they are giving the speaker, by how they are sitting, taking notes, making eye contact, etc. Guest speakers break up the monotony of our everyday routine, and really good ones bring energy to the classroom.   

KSDE: Is there any advice you would give other business or FACS teachers in how you find the materials you use to teach?   

Ms. Poe: I am a member of a lot of Facebook groups, like Kansas Educators, Business Educators, FinLit Fanatics, Kansas FBLA, etc. I have found these groups to be very beneficial. Asking peers has been the best way for me to find great resources. Once I find a great resource - I bookmark it! Finally, I have found great resources by attending training workshops, like the one I went to in Wichita last summer. It was called Financial Fitness Extravaganza, and there were speakers from the Federal Reserve in KC, and someone from FICO. Every speaker showed me something new. 

Possible amendments to graduation requirements

The Kansas State Board of Education is considering amendments to its accreditation regulation that establishes the minimum number of high school courses a student must complete to graduate and the types of courses that must be completed.  Among the regulation amendments being considered is the requirement that students earn at least one-half credit in financial literacy for graduation. If approved following the public hearing scheduled to take place during its May meeting, the new minimum graduation requirements would go into effect beginning with students entering the ninth grade in the fall of 2024. Click here for more information about the financial literacy standards and other information. 

Posted: Apr 18, 2024,
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