Category Archives: best practice

Financial Literacy Month Offers A Chance To Have “The Talk” With Your Students

Angela headThis week’s contributor is Angela Howdeshell: I work as the Vice President for Programs and Administration for the Kansas Council for Economic Education, a non-profit organization housed at Wichita State University with a mission of helping Kansas K-12 schools integrate financial literacy and economic education.

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While most of the United States is busy finishing up their last minute taxes or filing extensions, many are also taking advantage of this time to focus on K-12 financial literacy.  April has been declared Financial Literacy Month (#FinLitMonth) and many groups have been busy hosting Financial Literacy Month special events, developing new educational resources, and taking advantage of this month to advocate for increased support for financial literacy.  

Kansas is not alone in working to encourage youth to become more financially literate. The choices available to students today require them to be equipped with a strong understanding of economics and critical-thinking skills in order to increase their changes for a successful financial future.  Just one bad decision can catapult them into a life full of unplanned challenges that can stay with them for a lifetime.

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The Kansas State Department of Education is encouraging schools to offer more financial literacy so we can prepare our Kansas students for life after high school.  Not all parents are equipped to educate their children nor are they always great role models.

Take advantage of Financial Literacy Month to have “the talk” and encourage students to focus on their financial futures.  There are so many resources available to teachers to bring personal finance education into almost any subject area. The Council for Economic Education has created a calendar of resources for Financial Literacy Month for teachers.

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They also have many free classroom-tested lesson plans for K-12. 

Looking for more financial resources?  The Kansas Council for Economic Education can provide your district with resources without adding to the budget issues all districts are facing. Don’t pay for resources until you have seen what we can help provide.

Through our affiliation with the Council for Economic Education, KCEE has access to some amazing classroom-tested resources created by teachers that specialize in economic and personal finance education. KCEE also has created some resources specifically for Kansas schools and offers competitions to help encourage personal finance education along with rewarding students and teachers for their hard work.  Visit the KCEE website to see what is available to teachers.

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High school and middle school teachers responsible for teaching personal finance at their school or who are integrating personal finance into their instruction are invited to apply to attend the Financial Fitness Extravaganza scheduled for July 9-10, 2018 at Wichita State University. Attendees will receive all the resources they need to teach personal finance along with training and great topic speakers. Need help with a pacing guide? We’ve got one to help you get started.

The Extravaganza is also a great chance to get to know colleagues.  There is no cost for accepted teachers to attend this conference and resources are free thanks to the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation. Teachers accepted will have the option of receiving a $100 stipend and tuition assistance for graduate credit. Housing options are available for out-of-town teachers.  Check the website for details and an online application form.

If you have questions about teaching personal finance in Kansas schools, please do not hesitate to contact the Kansas Council for Economic Education at or 316-978-5183.  There are so many resources available through our affiliate at the Council for Economic Education and through many of our friends such as the Jump$tart Coalition and the Federal Reserve Banks.    


SHEG HATs for the win

Hat fail.

I’m not talking about an actual hat. Not a baseball cap. Or a visor. Or a bowler, beanie, beret, or bucket hat.

I’m talking about SHEG HATS.

As in Stanford History Education Group and History Assessments of Thinking.

I’m sure that you’ve been over to the very useful  Stanford History Education Group’s site with its three different tools, right? (If you haven’t, mmm . . . go there now and be amazed at how your life will be changed.)

All of us at the KCSS have been pushing Sam Wineburg’s work for years so I’m hoping you’re already familiar with the work his SHEG group has been doing around the idea of reading like a historian. They’ve packaged their work into three chunks – instructional lessons that focus on training kids analyze evidence to solve problems, onlive civic literacy lessons, and wait for it . . . Continue reading SHEG HATs for the win

Chocolate & peanut butter. Professional growth & student evaluations

We should always be thinking about ways to improve – even in May. So I dug around in the archives and dug out a post written several years ago that shares some thoughts about student evaluations. Because your professional growth and student evals are a lot like chocolate and peanut butter – two great tastes that go great together.


Billy Landes was probably the best teacher I ever had. Encouraging. Supportive. Tough. Demanding. Helpful. She let our study group leave to do “research” in the library when I’m pretty sure she knew that we usually headed to the donut shop instead. A learner. Smart. Knowledgeable.

And someone who always asked our feedback about how she could get better. It was the weirdest thing. A teacher asking Continue reading Chocolate & peanut butter. Professional growth & student evaluations