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Posts tagged ‘economics’

Where Are the Jobs & Racial Dot Maps. What could you do with this?

I’ve been to the Fast Company network of sites in the past but I need to learn to spend more time over there, uh . . . researching possible post topics. Yeah. That’s it. Not wasting time reading interesting articles about how Batman videos have evolved over time. I’m over there investing valuable minutes tracking down very appropriate articles directly tied to education related subjects.


Okay. A few articles may be tough to defend education-wise but you’ve got four channels – Exist, Design, Create, Video – to choose from and you can find a ton of interesting reads here. If nothing else, you’ve got some great writing prompts.

A recent research trip to the Exist channel uncovered two of my favorite things: a map and another map.

The most recent map claims to highlight every single job in America with a variety of different colors. The map plots out each job with an actual dot in four simplified categories. Factory and trade jobs are red, professional jobs are blue, health care, education, and government jobs are green, and service jobs like retail are yellow.” It is interactive, allowing you to zoom and scroll from one place to another, providing a chance to see patterns both small and large. Read more

What I Eat, Hungry Planet, Material World. Your geography curriculum in three gorgeous books

I’m not exactly sure where I was or what I was doing when I first ran across Peter Menzel’s first book, Material World, A Global Family Portrait. Pretty sure it was some sort of social studies conference years ago and a vendor had some poster size images from Material World. And I was captured.

The images were powerful. The text informative and engaging. The teaching and learning possibilities endless.

It was a simple concept. Read more

Tip of the Week: Financial Literacy

Yes. I’m sure you’ve heard.

The Kansas House of Representatives introduced a bill about two weeks ago requiring a personal financial literacy program as a requirement for high school graduation. Not a bad idea at all. Of course, later amendments to the bill dropped the graduation prerequisite and added the requirement that schools teach “the importance and execution of an effective professional handshake.”

So . . . look out, global economy. Meet a kid with a firm grip and who looks you square in your eye? You know that’s a Jayhawk.

All semi-kidding aside, the intent of the Kansas House was spot on. Kids do need to a strong knowledge of economics and personal finance. Lucky for them April is Financial Literacy Month.

financial-literacy-after-high-schoolIf you’re in the need of some financial literacy ideas, Read more

Classroom Clues: K-6 Lit to teach economics

What I know about economics and personal finance? Think of the smallest possible measuring container and what I know about economics and personal finance would probably come close to filling that container.

Think of that Sam Cooke song – “Don’t Know Much About History.” Replace history with economics. That’s me.

I never had an official econ course in my life. Yeah. I know. If it makes you feel better, I have had some economics workshops and I know a lot of very smart economics people. (Looking at you Brian Richter.)

So this morning was a huge learning opportunity for me. Angela Howdeshell from the Kansas Council for Economics Education spent two hours with our social studies PLC group.

Awesome stuff.

Angela shared all sorts of great ideas and free goodies with teachers. She highlighted  some of the handy stuff on both the KCEE site as well as the national economics site.

And she shared a site I hadn’t seen before. Read more

EverFi, online sims, and personal financial ed


I’ll admit it. I’m not a big fan of most personal finance classes. They usually are poorly organized, poorly taught, and are often much too long. A full year of personal finance required for graduation? Really?

But I will also admit the need for some sort of personal finance training for kids.

Credit card bills, debt, saving, and financing higher education are often not on the minds of most of your students. But the financial decisions they make today will have a long-term impact on their lives. A weak understanding of how finances work can jeopardize their ability to succeed later on in life.

The answer? Some sort of curriculum that will actually engage kids so they walk away with some applicable knowledge and skills. EverFi seems like that sort of answer.

Read more

New Kansas State Social Studies Standards

I feel a bit like the Founding Fathers at the 1787 Constitutional Convention might have felt. They showed up in Philadelphia with the stated intent of tweaking the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they ditched the Articles and went straight to the Constitution.

Today was the first meeting of the Kansas State History/Government Standards Revision Committee. The stated intent? Tweak the current state standards.

And while we don’t have James Madison or Benjamin Franklin, the committee truly is a collection of Kansas Social Studies studs. Michael Ortman, Brian Richter, Nathan McAlister, Anneliece Kowalik are just a few of the incredibly talented educators in the room.

What happened when the committee got together? They basically pushed the current document aside and went straight to the 21st century standards equivalent of the Constitution – standards that will drive quality instruction and quality assessment. And there was lots of great conversation today that revolved around what the standards document should contain and how it should look.

One of the first decisions made by the group was to organize the new standards around Big Ideas and Essential Questions. Of course, we then had to write the Big Ideas. I’ve pasted our first draft below.

If you were creating a K-12 social studies standards document that will integrate history, geography, government and economics, what additions and subtractions would you make?

Big Ideas

  • Choices have consequences
  • Individuals have rights and responsibilities within societies
  • Diversity and commonality shape and enrich societies
  • Beliefs and ideas shape people’s thinking and actions
  • Competition for resources and power creates conflict and cooperation
  • Societies progress and decline
  • People are interdependent
  • Societies have similarities and differences that change over time
  • The relationship between people, places and environment is dynamic
  • Multiple causations and perspectives exist


Update September 27

Big Ideas second draft

  • Choices have consequences.
  • Individuals have rights and responsibilities.
  • Society is shaped by beliefs, ideas and diversity.
  • Societies experience continuity and change over time.
  • The relationships among people, places and environment are dynamic.
  • Thinking and literacy skills are essential to active 21st century citizenship.


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