A few years ago my district instated an Economic and Personal Finance Literacy program in all grades K-12 in all subject areas. We worked together with our state council to help approximately 30 teachers get their MTE (Master Teacher of Economics) certification and to develop curriculum for all of our classrooms. It was a huge success and we received an award from the NCEE for the development of the program. I am wondering what other districts around the country may be doing to support their students' abilities in this area.
It would be very helpful to know which state you reside in, but when I moved to Texas (I'm thinking about 26 years ago- maybe more,) economics was just about to become a required course K-12. I was literally one of five teachers throughout the state qualified to teach economics. Funny thing is, I had no intention of ever teaching economics, but that provided me with a lot of opportunity so I jumped on the econ band wagon. I would suggest you go to TEA and check out the standards for economics that we have. They are very solid and are scaffold throughout K-12. Ours do have the NCEE Foundation also but are expanded beyond the basic skeleton format.
I would also encourage your new MTE's to work with your District Federal Reserve Bank. There are many contests for teachers and students to give your new program a boost. The Feds run programs for teachers in the summer and during the school year, and each District has a ton of material and it is all free. I worked with the NCEE for years and would still do so if I didn't have so many other "things" on my plate. Also the Jump-Start program was one of my initial activities, and they have an excellent program for financial literacy. You are correct, the Stock Market Game is one of those things that catches the attention of students of all ages. I have, upon occasion, set up a program for my college students. As you know, many business schools actually play with real money when teaching about portfolios, but their focus is beyond just stocks. Loved your expression "happys" when referencing prizes.
I would also suggest that you have your 30 MTE's think outside the box in ways they can teach economics in K-12. I have experimented with implementing a lot of 21st Century skill concepts for my students in an attempt to get them "excited" about the subject of economics. It really is not the dismal science that it is referred to.
An example of "outside the box" kind of idea for my seniors when I was teaching in a high school, was for them to select from a list of Fairy Tales (I provided the list) and explain the economic principle and implication. This was a huge success for many reasons: 1) Fairy Tales are not as common to our teenagers as they are to some of us, 2) they had to actually think and read about economic principles, and 3) they had to apply that principle to the rhyme, 4) then they had to defend it before the class.
But, the best of all for your MTEs is our very own EconEdLink. There is no better source of information for economic teachers. Not only are the Lesson Plan the quintessential for any economics teacher, they are all encompassing including drag-drops, interactives, videos, vocabulary, current data, etc. Of course the NCEE is behind all of this so I'm certain you are aware of our Partner, but the we do not need to invent the wheel because EconEdLink keeps our economic wheels turning regardless of the grade level..
Great! Your Federal Reserve Bank is in Atlanta. If you haven't been to their Website, you will want to check it out.
It's certainly good to know that more and more states are requiring economics in their K-12 environment. Goodness only knows we need to overcome the economic illiteracy that exists in this country.
Best of luck
One thing that I plan on doing with my 8th grade is setting up groups in the Thinkfinity Community for the SMG. We can start and contribute to discussions, I can send them documents, and they will have unlimited storage for their documents. This is a first time with the Community Groups, but you have to make sure that your students are at least 13 years of age.
Good Luck, and Happy Trading,