2016 OUTSTANDING ECONOMIC EDUCATOR
Anne Barrow, Boonsboro Elementary School, Bedford County
As an elementary Gifted Resource Teacher, Anne Barrow has done much to ensure her students and others in Bedford County have a strong foundation in economic education. She has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Mini-Economy program and the catalyst to make it a part of all Bedford elementary gifted programs by facilitating and conducting collaborative meetings with all of her colleagues. She ensures her students have the opportunity to get the most from the program through the books they read, the market research they conduct, the accounting and creative skills utilized. For the last seven years, her students have also participated in the Stock Market Game.TM She attended several teacher training programs to enhance her ability to guide her students to a greater and deeper understanding of the stock market.
K-12 LESSON OR UNIT
Vickie L. Mills & Larry Collins, Altavista Combined School, Campbell County
The Economic and Environmental Effect of a Natural Disaster
This project integrates the Earth Science standards around volcanoes and how a volcanic eruption will impact the local government and economy. Students work in a team to research an active volcano and 1 of 2 extinct Virginia volcanoes (Mole Hill or Trimble Knob). They prepare a powerpoint to explain how natural disasters shift the supply and demand curves to represent the changed environment. They also observe how a natural disaster can impact prices and show how unanticipated consequences can change a situation. Students design a model community that has been impacted by a volcanic eruption and create a risk reduction plan in order to identify potential hazards.
Click here for the lesson.
Callie Randolph & Marta Frederick, Skyline Middle School, Harrisonburg City
Homemade vs. Store-Bought Crepes
As part of a middle school Family Consumer Science Exploratory class, this three-day lesson allowed students to investigate ways to comparison shop while saving money. The lesson was integrated with other class objectives — learning about the cuisine of another country and cooking safety techniques. Students learn how to determine price per unit and understand what is the ‘least price’ when comparing prices. They discuss why a consumer might, in some cases, not choose the least price, and apply comparison shopping techniques which are useful in life-long decision making.
Click here for the lesson and here for a powerpoint on crepes and French cuisine.
Lisa Long & Walt Williamson, Harrisonburg High School, Harrisonburg City
The Blue Streak Food Company
In an effort to earn money to go on field trips and buy classroom items, students with significant cognitive disabilities in a Daily Living class decided to open the Blue Streak Food Company to help fulfill their goals. The company made and sold meals to teachers. After choosing a recipe, they made a grocery list and went to the store to price each item. Students e-mailed teachers to take orders, shopped for groceries, cooked and delivered meals. Money was collected and turned in to the school’s bookkeeper. Through all aspects of the company, they learned and applied a number of economic concepts, including an understanding that: people work to earn money to buy the things they want; people save money for the future to purchase goods and services; and, people have to make choices and the idea of opportunity cost (what is given up when making a choice). The unit also reinforced reading, writing and math skills.
Click here for a copy of the unit.
VCEE INSTITUTE GRADUATE WINNER
Christine Pedersen, Varina High School, Henrico County
Give Adam Smith A High Five!
As a means to understand the beauty of a free market, students explore Adam Smith’s seminal theories covered in “The Wealth of Nations.” The lesson correlates each of the five concepts to the four fingers and thumb on an ‘invisible hand.’ After reading the famous essay by Leonard E. Read, “I, Pencil” students discuss what it means to have a “free” market, where no one is telling anyone what to do but everyone does what is in their own self-interest. To reinforce the concepts in a memorable and fun way, students experience what happens when the “invisible hand” bakes chocolate chip cookies. Students choose one ingredient from chocolate chip cookies and trace back all the things people do (by personal choice and without a central commanding body) to create the ingredient in the cookie.
Click here for the lesson.
FIRST PLACE AWARD
Sondra Colvin & Emily Hartman, South River Elementary School, Rockingham County
South River Breakfast Cart
With their $200 mini-grant, the 4th and 5th grade Special Education classes bought the initial supplies needed for the breakfast cart business they created. Initially planned as a coffee cart only, they expanded the menu after surveying teachers on what they might buy. They also used some of the funds to provide a more professional look with matching aprons and tie-died shirts made in class and a sign and logo for their cart. Students prepared items to be sold weekly, pricing and advertising them, taking in the money and giving change and counting the profit. To help them understand the big picture of their efforts they completed several lessons from EconEdLink.org on goods and services and producers and consumers. They also purchased and read One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference where a child in the story took a little money and was able to create a big business. They connected with the story in that they were able to make sufficient profits to allow next year’s students to continue the business.
SECOND PLACE AWARD
Rhonda Taylor, Achilles Elementary School, Gloucester County
Model Classroom Economy
All 5th grade classes shared the mini-grant to support a classroom economy. Funds were used to purchase items which might motivate students to work hard. Each student had a classroom job they were expected to complete without a reminder if they were to be paid. They also received money for excellent work (e.g. passing an Accelerated Reader quiz) and acts of kindness. Rent was paid weekly for their desk with some students quickly deciding they would rather own their desk than pay rent. Fees were charged for breaking rules (e.g. a noise tax) and students quickly learned this was an expensive habit that should be kept to a minimum. Students kept careful records with a log of their salary, rents and fees paid and their savings set aside. As one student wrote in his summary of the project: “…if you work hard and do good work you will be successful. But if you make bad choices you will lose money.”