It’s the start of the new nine weeks. So today I’ll be officially in charge of all three of Mr. Geisler’s American Cultures classes and also easing in with one — 7th period — of Navigating. In about a week or two I’ll be taking on the other section of Navigating and holding strong with five classes until April 4; the end of the nine weeks. I taught these lessons today…
American Cultures: I created a new packet — “I am the Historian”, chapter 15. I went over new rules about this packet. Such as the loss of 10 points — the packet is out of 50 — if the student loses it and I have to give him or her a new one. There is also a calendar included which shows students the specific days on which quizzes will be taken and assignments will be due. This is an effort to combat the excuses I often get such as, “I can’t take the quiz today because I was absent yesterday… I didn’t know about it.” We then played a game — on page 4 — that simulated the stock market crash of 1929.
Margin buying game lesson plan. (follows page 4 of packet)
I told the students that they were all investors in my company “Wraymerica Inc.” we manufacture a product called “Awesomeness” that is selling like hotcakes. We went through ten rounds of play as students bought more stock. They were allowed to cash out and sell their stock only once during the game. “Awesomeness” went way way up in price for most of the game while students were purchasing all of their new stock on loan from the bank (Margin buying), which allowed a certain amount of borrowing each round. Each round, students kept making more and wanting more, but getting further into debt. It looked to them like they were going to make a lot of play money on this. But once the market crashed they found themselves deeply in debt. This demonstrated to them the notion of margin buying. The game went really well 2nd and 6th period but not so much 3rd. I goofed with the numbers during third and some students ended up with +$750 rather than -$750. Oh well. Live and learn.
Navigating: After introducing myself and explaining that I’ll be their teacher until April, I followed Mr. Deemer’s lesson plan and I passed out a note card to each student. On the note card the students were to write questions that they have about cars. I polled the class quickly to get some common responses and answered them informally. Some students asked about insurance, others about inspection and others about things as strange as lift kits. I think I will use one question per day as a sort of anticipatory set, a “showcase” question that I have some good information on. After the questions and discussion, I passed out a reading from the consumer skills book on new car buying. It detailed invoice price, gap insurance, the margin, winter time car sales, etc. The students took notes and I discussed it shortly with them until the end of class.