You ever had one of those days where you’re exhausted, something you planned SO well doesn’t go right, and just seems nobody is listening? We all have! It’s so easy to get sucked into the doldrum of negativity and questions why you teach, so it’s always nice to get a day that reminds you! Today was one of those days!!!! I don’t have them often and I will say I wasn’t expecting it, but today was a day that I was reminded this is why I teach!
I also decided to share the five parts of this lesson through the fun and fabulous Five for Friday Linky Party 🙂
My eighth graders are working on a unit that deals with budgeting and I will say this is not my strong point. I mean, I’m a teacher! You would thing that after seven years of getting paid monthly, I would have the whole budget thing down pact. Well, I don’t. I have worked to be better and I will say I have gotten better. I got a lot of help from a friend who suggested Dave Ramsey’s Money Makeover, but I will say I am not 100% on the Dave Ramsey train (shame on me). Anyway, while I stressed to them the importance of budgeting I knew I needed to find a way to make it “real”. I searched high and low, scoured the internet, and asking teachers for the game of Life! It just seemed like some pieces I found online were right, but it just didn’t work for me. Yesterday I decided I had to make my own…I was scared!
Thanks to the wonderful teachers I follow on IG, I have been more inclined to “make” my own resources and I’ve actually found it quite fulfilling! Last night, I decided I’d start and I worked out all of the kinks in my head as I typed away and imagined how it would all work out. I got up this morning and finished. Copied, re-copied, cut, and “prettied” all of the pieces to my budget fun puzzle and was ready to go with my kiddos. Here are the things I put together.
This was the worksheet handed out after a brief description of what we’d be doing. Student’s were asked to decide their wants and total them up .
Student’s were then given a career and had to reevaluate their wants based no what they could truly afford (this was funny). This opened a discussion about wants and needs and how many students had to remove things they wanted based on the fact they couldn’t afford them! I encouraged them to save some money and really budget out their money for “a rainy day”.
Next, student’s had to pay their bills! After we paid rent, students were asked to complete their monthly ledger…but wait!!!!
Student’s were met with “unexpected” circumstances! For my waitress, making $900 a month, winning the lottery for $500 was a life saver! My sound engineer, not so happy when he had to pay for that car!!!!! We continued paying bills, but I hit them one more time with an “unexpected” circumstance and then asked them to finish their monthly ledger!
After finishing their ledger we discussed how this REALLY happens in life and then compared the student’s budgets. This was the time for them to see who was able to keep their original wants and those who had to adjust them according to their current income. I heard SO many comments about how hard it was to not have any money (or maybe I was talking?) and how this sounds like their parents during the month! I was so overwhelmed with how engaged and powerful this 70-minute lesson was and I just love that the students enjoyed it! On top of the reasoning, math, analysis, and logical thinking exercises throughout I decided to throw in some writing. I simply asked the student’s to share their thoughts from the exercise and boy did it surprise me.
Although this activity was truly meant to teach my 8th grader’s a skill/lesson, I too was able to learn a few things about myself.
- Being open to failure isn’t always so bad. I had no idea if this would actually work!!! I had it mapped out, but I honestly didn’t believe it would work as smoothly as it did.
- Believe in yourself. I didn’t think that I could “create” a lesson. I didn’t think I could make each of the components to the lesson. I did it.
- Life is our best teacher. My student’s were able to take real-life scenarios and make them a reality. I was able to learn that trying a new idea doesn’t meal failure.
Did you have a “Wow that worked” moment this week? How do you intertwine real-life in your classroom?