Hot Topics - Economics

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This is an 8-week unit of instruction for an Algebra I course that covers all the generally required material for the topics of graphing linear equations, solving systems of linear equations, simple linear regression, and applying systems of linear equations to real-life situations. The unit is constructed using a Project-Based Learning approach, where the students work collaboratively to run a class business during the 8 weeks. As they move through the various stages of planning and executing the business, they learn various concepts related to linear equations and how they directly apply to predicting demand or cost/revenue information. Finally, the project incoporates technology education by having the students use Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint to report and analyze the sales results of their business.
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In this sub-unit, students are introduced to the study of economics in general and to the project they will be undertaking. They will be presented with the portfolio checklist and rubric that will be used to determine their final grade for the project. Additionally, they will begin the process of planning for their business.
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"Banking: In the fractional reserve method, we trust" Economics Curriculum: Students will understand how important banks are and how they create money/credit by way of fractional reserves. Students will then take this information and form conclusions about what our government should do with respect to banks given the current economic downturn. "Trust and the President" Language Arts Curriculum: Students will understand that claims made in political advertisements need to be scrutinized and evaluated for their accuracy and how that scrutiny can affect a candidate's trustworthiness.
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www.OneHen.org is a microfinance website for kids, with fun games and a virtual market, as well as lesson plans for teachers and librarians. The website is based on a children's book about a real boy in Africa who gets a loan to buy a hen, which over time turns into a thriving business - all because of a small loan to buy one brown hen. On the website kids can read the story, and read and see pictures and videos of real microentrepreneurs around the world in countries like Ghana, Brazil, Mexico and even immigrants in the U.S., and play games such as memory. Kids can donate "beads" won from the games to actual microentrepreneurs in developing countries through the virtual market, and as kids contribute they will see virtual businesses grow before their eyes. It's a beautifully designed website that aims to inspire good in kids while providing entertainment, and has great materials for teachers to teach their kids about topics ranging from world geography to community service to African culture to math to economics to business to global citizenship.
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Teaching the Economy

by Extra NewsHour

Lesson Plans, Video Project, and Glossary to help students understand the concepts and terminology behind the current recession.
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"Gas Prices" Lesson Plan

by the.News http://www.pbs.org/newshour/thenews/

This NCEE economics curriculum investigates the variables that contribute to the cost of gasoline. They learn that while OPEC nations do influence the price of oil and thus the price of gasoline, other factors also influence the price. The accompanying video can be found online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/thenews/thedollar/.
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