We are The Dream School, a 1A High School located in a small school district in eastern Iowa. Each student has a computer at home, and the school has a computer lab available daily for several hours before and after school. Students are not expected to have prior knowledge of topics discussed during the course, but they are expected to have basic computer skills (i.e. typing and basic Internet skills). Instead of memorizing terms, students will demonstrate their understanding by collaborating with group members, participating in group discussions, and writing reflections based upon the performed activities.
The Dream School's demographicsEdit
- The district has 3 towns with populations of approximately 700 each.
- The Dream School accommodates 9th-12th grades; 20 teachers and approximately 160 students
- The majority of students come from middle-class agricultural families
- The number of students on free and reduced lunch is increasing.
- 90% Caucasian
- 3% African-American
- 2% Asian-Americans
- 5% Latin-American.
TPaCK'd Lesson PlansEdit
To see the specific lesson plans associated with each standard listed below, please click here
Standards and BenchmarksEdit
- TPACKing at The Dream School is based on the Iowa Core Curriculum and focuses on essential 21st Century Skills Standards and Benchmarks. The skills in these lesson plans include Employability Skills and Civic Awareness, plus Financial, Health, and Technology Literacy. It is often assumed that these skills are learned throughout students' lives, but are they? Often the skills are not specifically taught in lessons, but are present. Acknowledging these skills and literacies as important for success after high school; we strive to help prepare students for Life in the Real World.
- The framework for these lesson plans encourages the development of financial responsibility, the potential for employment, and the framework contributes to students' understanding and awareness of how technology can serve in those areas.
I. Communicate and work productively with others, incorporate different perspectives and cross cultural understanding, increase innovation and work quality.
- Activity/Technology: The class will hold occasional meetings using presentation software programs such as PowerPoint or Prezi to express individual ideas. The class will make important class decisions by voting with SmartResponse clickers. This will provide an opportunity for students to engage in formal communication, express individual ideas, and learn to appreciate the perspectives of others.
II. Demonstrate leadership skills, integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility while collaborating to achieve common goals.
- Activity/Technology: Students demonstrating high levels of technological skill and comprehension will be expected to teach and coach other members of the class.
- Activity/Technology: When a group is scheduled to conduct a class meeting, each student in that group will be required to assume a leadership role in the planning, organizing, or execution of the presentation materials. This will require professional consideration for others, and technological skill or ability. Students have rubrics to quantify expectations and will evaluate their group's individual and collaborative activity.
III. Demonstrate initiative and self-direction through high achievement and development of lifelong skills while exploring ways that individual talents can be used for productive outcomes.
- Activity/Technology: Students will examine websites of various local, national, and international businesses. They will be required to identify examples of what they consider good and poor website design as exhibited by the identified organization. Twitter, RSS feeds, and other Web 2.0 tools will be used as sources for research and developing evaluative criteria.
Financial Literacy BenchmarksEdit
I. Demonstrate financial responsibility and planning skills needed to achieve lifetime financial goals.
- Activity/Technology: Students create a budget, using Excel, to calculate approximately how much of their take home salary will be spent on different areas. Using the Internet, students research the average salary of an interesting occupation and average percentages of their presumed monthly expenditures as an adult.
- Activity/Technology: Students interview financial planners to learn how they help people plan budgets. They share their findings in a documentary using Movie Maker or iMovie.
- Activity/Technology: Students create a financial contract with themselves, using Google Docs, listing ten financial tips to develop financially stability.
II. Manage money effectively by developing spending plans and selecting appropriate financial instruments to maintain a positive cash flow.
- Activity/Technology: Using the software, Quicken, students record financial data from a simulation to manage a person’s finances. Based on the data given in Quicken, students will analyze and suggest ways to better manage the person's finances.
III. Make informed and responsible decisions about debt to remain creditworthy and financially secure.
- Activity/Technology: Using Bitstrips.com, students create cartoons about what might happen if someone has bad credit.
- Activity/Technology: Students design exhibits using Scrapblog on ways one earns a good or bad credit score.
- Activity/Technology: Students conduct an interview with a loan officer on how loan sare approved or denied; they create podcasts about their interviews.
IV. Assess the values, features, and planning processes associated with savings, investing, and asset building. The students will apply this knowledge to achieve long-term financial security with personal and entrepreneurial goals in a global market.
- Activity/Technology: Students create knowledge webs about the different types of savings accounts and investments using Mindmeister.com.
- Activity/Technology: Using MovieMaker or iMovie, students create Personal Service Announcements about types of savings accounts or investments. These PSAs will be shared with all their fellow students as a service project
V. Understand human, cultural, and social issues regarding financial literacy to appreciate the importance of legal and ethical behavior.
- Activity/Technology: Students discuss the implications that socio-cultural status has on financial literacy, creating wiki workspaces that showcase personal SMART goals. See Carrie's Lesson Plan.
Technological Literacy BenchmarksEdit
I. Demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
- Activity/Technology: Students develop products to sell for a class-based company. They use image editing tools like Pixlr, Corel, Photoshop, etc to create designs that can be etched using a laser.
II. Use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
- Activity/Technology: Students in different classes work in teams to create a new DebateGraph on an issue related to financial literacy. Students in different classes are assigned to collaborate on specific sides of the debate. For example, Sally from class 1 and Billy from class 2 are assigned to be pro-union, while Joe (1) and Beth (2) research the anti-union stance. All four students collaborate to create a DebateGraph including stances and rebuttals. Students then debate in class.
III. Apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
- Activity/Technology: Students use MarketWatch, search engines and spreadsheets to gather, evaluate, and use information on investments. See Kies’ Lesson Plan for more details.
IV. Demonstrate critical thinking skills, using appropriate tools and resources, to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions.
- Activity/Technology: Students start and run their own class-based company in which they must raise capital; design, manufacture, and market a product; make financial and resource management decisions; and solve problems related to communication, organization and management.
V. Understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
VI. Demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.
Our Lesson PlansEdit
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