A Lesson for More than the Students
I thought I had posted this, but I guess I forgot to hit submit… anyway, this is with regard to my first lesson a while back.
So after the changes I last wrote about, we had our first lesson, which I was responsible for making the lesson plan for. Previously I was scheduled to teach comparison shopping and budgeting in two separate lessons. However, as a result of us needing to consolidate lessons, we decided that I would teach both in one lesson. I had already previously planned out a lesson for comparison shopping, and so basically needed to consolidate my lesson so that it would fit in the time constraint, and come up with a way to teach budgets.
I had had the idea previously to create a “Game of Life” type simulation where the kids would be broken into teams and make decisions about what sort of apartment to buy, whether to get insurance, and what sort of deals they would take at the store for food and such. I tried to design it in such a way that it would encourage positive behaviors (get points at the end for reaching a saving goal, making the tradeoff between saving money and risking injury vs spending for insurance, buying things at deals), while also trying to inject some realism (sure you can work overtime all the time to get money, but you could overwork yourself and get sick). I even incorporated their career goals into the game by having four different jobs they could choose from, each with a different requirement (different saving goal, different salary, different hours worked, different student loans to pay off).
In the end, even though I spent about 6 hours designing the game and trying to balance it, I personally think things could have gone better. Maybe it was because it was a new class format and by the time the second hour hit when I was just starting the game, some kids were getting antsy. Maybe it was a time issue where I didn’t have enough time to explain all the rules. They did say they enjoyed it, though, so that’s a sign of hope.