In the post below, Chad Wright shares his learning from the book Activating the Desire to Learn by Bob Sulo.
I chose this book because I am always looking for ways to make my class more engaging and increase student motivation. Selfishly I believe Personal Finance is the most important class high school students take; however, most teenagers are oblivious to how impactful and important understanding this material can be. This book does a great job of introducing topics we should be addressing in the classroom, but often overlook or do not put enough effort into. Things like fostering a satisfying learning environment, fostering positive relationships and creating a competitive environment that allows for freedom in learning styles and cooperation between students and the teacher.
Things I am going to attempt to improve upon or implement in my classroom:
Making my learning visible:
I have always done a Vacation Budget Project in my Personal Finance class. In the past this project has been based on where the students would like to go on vacation. They are asked to create a vacation budget and plan based on a certain criteria and within a specific budget. This has always been a hit of miss project, some students love it, and others have a problem getting engaged in the project. At the end of the year when I ask for a reflection on the class this project is some students favorite and others least favorite.
This year I asked (or rather she graciously volunteered) to help me change the dynamics of this project by actually having the students plan a “real” vacation. Ms. Miller agreed she would actually take one of the vacations the students created. We gave them a few ideas on what she was looking for and liked to do and then got out of the way and gave them the freedom to create a vacation that she would like. Competition was created since the students knew she was going to choose somebody’s project and actually put it into action. By giving the students freedom and allowing them to connect the project to the real world I found many of them much more engaged in the project and working harder to produce a project they would be proud of. The project became much more than a grade and fostered a positive learning environment.
Post by | Chad Wright | High School Personal Finance
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