Monday, January 18, 2010

Balancing and Analyzing

Thanks to Kyle Dunning for sharing this great graphic with me called: College in America (see the graphic below). I found all of the statistics very interesting to see but a couple of them really bothered me more than the others.

· 1 out of 5 students fail to properly balance a checkbook.

· 1 out of 2 students fail to correctly analyze prose like news editorials.

It always bothers me when people can’t seem to manage their money. I have seen too many people get in trouble because they can’t balance a checkbook or manage their money. I hope by the time our students get into college, they will know how to use a checkbook and the scoop about credit cards. I mean, how many of us get tons of credit card applications in the mail every day? This flash tends to excite students who do not have any money. Every year, I spend a couple of weeks and we practice carefully on how to use a checkbook for our class. They take their class salary (which they get every week) and deposit it into their checking account. They write out checks for pencils, paper, breaks for water/restroom, passes to the library, time on the computer etc. Once they get used to using it and feel comfortable with it, I stop doing direct instruction on it. At the end of every month, they have to balance the checkbook and make sure that it matches the bank statement that I have (I enter their amounts in a spreadsheet at the end of every week). This is a great habit for them to get into and they learn the importance of doing this.

As for news editorials, my students think that the “squeaky wheel” must be telling the truth. They need to learn how to take this information and analyze it. This is so important especially around election time. Too many times we are teaching our students to conform and fit the mold, that we forget to teach them to think. They need to figure out what they believe in and why they believe this way. “Just because” and “they say so” is not a good enough reason. I think debates on pros and cons would help students learn how to back up their opinions. The school system needs to work on this skill more than it does. If it doesn’t, when these students get into positions of power and hold our future in their hands, we will be in big trouble.

Please look below and the graphic and enjoy! Thanks again Kyle!

College in America

Source: Online Colleges and Universities

What statistics stand out for you and what does it say to you?

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).


Beth Knittle said...

In my neck of the woods we no longer teach 'consumer' math, balancing check books and understanding how debt and credit cards work are just not in the standards. Maybe if they were would not be in the financial mess we are in.

Ann said...

Why is it that although women are making such strides in obtaining higher education degrees that they are still paid less than men? That really gets to me!!

Bill Gaskins said...

Balancing a check book should be covered somewhere with college bound and honor students. I know a lot stories of how some of these kids make huge life mistake because they were not good mangers of money.

luckeyfrog said...

Our state (Indiana) requires an economics course for every graduating senior. My teacher took at least a little time to discuss the difference between credit and debit cards, and how a checkbook works, and I think the state has looked into adding this as a more stringent requirement (and possibly its own class). I think it's very worthwhile!

I know in 8th grade some students go through a community-sponsored day where they pick their desired job and lifestyle and they go through a simulation to see what their financial situation would be like. It really hits home with some of the students who are ready to go into high school thinking that they don't really need to think about postsecondary education of some kind.

loonyhiker said...

@Beth I think all students need to learn this. Many of the students' parents don't have these skills and are unable to teach their own children.

loonyhiker said...

@Ann I find that amazing too. If women do the same work and have the same credentials, they should be paid the same.

loonyhiker said...

@Bill I was one of those students that really didn't learn how to use a checkbook until I was in college and had to use it. It was a scary thing!

loonyhiker said...

@luckeyfrog I love the thought of that being a required course. At least if it isn't a separate course, we should have it as required in some curriculum.

devry university online said...

I find it ironic how some of us master a very unique feat or do some extraordinary things but fail short in balancing our financial statement.