Grading Yourself, and your Partners, on the Business Fair
Now that the Fair is over, it's time to reflect back on all you did, and all your partners did, to contribute to the overall performance of your business. Take some time before Thursday, May 19th to complete the Google Form below. Complete this form by Thursday, May 19th--failure to do so will result in zeros. As you evaluate your work and your partners', use the rubric listed on the form as your guide. Note: you must be signed into Google to complete the form.
Business Fair Reflection
Great job on the Business Fair everyone! I heard so much positive feedback from parents, teachers, and upper class-men. I think the fair was a huge success! Now you get to cap it off by telling me what you learned from the experience: What went well for your group? What would you do differently if you were to do it over? What did you learn from the whole experience? Write up your answers according to the rubric and example below, and have it turned into Canvas by Thursday, May 19th. This grade will make up half of the individual portion of your Business Fair Project grade. Even though much of the Business Fair Project was a group project, this part of the assignment is individual--complete this assignment yourself.
Vote for a Charity!
Click here and fill out a short form to vote for the Charity that will be the beneficiary of at least 10% of the profits of this year's Business Fair!
Business Fair Marketing: Web Ads
Once you've been approved for business, now you can begin getting the word out about what your business will be doing, and trying to generate demand for your products and/or services.
This week in class students will work with their business partners on designing a quality web advertisement for their business. They will finish the ad by Thursday, and it will be included in a website that will be linked for the entire student body, and the greater school community, to view as they anticipate May 16th's Business Fair.
Business Fair "Pitch" Project
The Business Fair is in many ways the culminating project/event of the entire course. Students will use everything they've learned about managing resources, budgeting, marketing, customer service, and more to run their own small businesses at a school fair this coming May 16th.
This week students will be putting together their business ideas into "Pitches" where they will present their business ideas to the school for approval. Students should remember and use everything they have learned this year about presentations (eye contact, little text on screen, props/examples, etc.) See below for the rubric, and an example. Business Fair "Pitches" will be due in class on Thursday, April, 28 (or after school if you are not currently in my Business class). Pitch presentations should be placed in shared folders (non-business students may email them to Mr. Baker: email@example.com).
Unit 9 Test: Tuesday, April 19
Our Unit 9 Test will be this coming Tuesday, April 19. Below is a study guide for the Unit. As usual, if students know the meaning/importance of all the terms, and can answer all the questions, they should be in a position to do well on the test. Practice questions and a review game will be posted later on next week.
Unit 8 Test Study Aides
Our Unit 8 Test will be this Friday, Feb. 26. The Study Guide is linked below. As usual, if students know the all the terms--what they mean and how they relate to our Unit--and if they can answer all the questions, they should be prepared to perform well on the test.
Unit 8 Project Intro: Kiva Microloans
Now that you've researched your developing country and hopefully know a few things about it, you will now get the chance to help advocate for a real world entrepreneur living and working in that country right now! Kiva.org is a Microfinance organization that helps connect borrowers in the developing world to lenders all over the planet. In this way, borrowers gain access to capital that will help them grow their businesses.
First you will create a short presentation (or video) about your developing country according to the rubric (listed below). Later in the week, you will choose a potential borrower from your country and try and help advocate for them by introducing them and explaining about their background and why they are seeking a loan in your presentation. We will eventually present these presentations to others who will vote on which potential borrower they think should receive the loan. Each class period will have $100 that they will really loan to one of our borrowers!
3rd Quarter Investment Blog/Vlog Post
I'm sick! So while I'm out you can get a jump start on your 3rd Quarter Investment Blog/Vlog post. I challenge you to make your second entry much better than your first. For some of you that will mean taking the time and putting in the work to make a video; for others it will mean improving on the video you did last time. So check on your portfolio, research all the information you need, and begin writing/planning scripts. Some of you could even begin rehearsing or filming. You've actually got about a month before this is due (Friday, March 4th), but you won't get many days like this where you have the whole class time to be working on it. This could be the only one, so take advantage of it!
Unit 7 Test: Thurs, Jan. 28
Our Unit 7 Test is coming up on Thursday, Jan. 28. Students should prepare by reviewing their notes. They can also use the Study Guide linked below to help them review. I recommend going through the study guide and trying to define the terms and answer the questions--if students run into problems, they should check in their notes to try and find the answers. When the study guide is complete, they should compare what they have written with what is in their notes to ensure their understanding is correct. Students who go through this process should be in a position to perform well on the test. Of course, if students have any questions at all, the should bring them up during review sessions in class the coming week, or they can always come and see me after school also.
Business Presentation Project
Starting in February, and ending in May, students will be presenting on a business of their choice to their classes. They will present as a representative of the business, and they will present as if they were presenting to a group of potential investors. Their goal will be both to 1) Educate their audience about the business (it's past, present, and future), and 2) to Persuade/Convince their audience that their company would be a wise investment for the future.
Preparing a presentation like this requires work, so steps will be structured to help make sure students are making progress on their preparations as their presentation date nears. They will have no fewer (and perhaps more) than 4 days in class over the next month to work on the project. Some of those days will be focused on Research, at least one will be focused on Scripting, and another on building the Presentation Slideshow itself. In addition to these in-class preparation days, each student will also have a Rehearsal scheduled after school one day with a Presentation Coach, where they can practice their completed presentation and get some helpful feedback. Rehearsals will always be at least a week ahead of their actual presentation date, in order to allow them sufficient time to make any changes or improvements they would need to make. Every student should be prepared to present on the very first presentation date, even if their actual presentation date isn't until May. The project grade for this assignment will go on the 4th Quarter. Please see the Project Rubric and Flow Chart Below:
Random Homecoming Nominations
Click the form below to make nominations for homecoming:
Midterm Exam Review: Resources
There are many effective ways to review for next week's exam:
Charity Picker Assignment
In this assignment, students will nominate a Charity of their choosing to be the official beneficiary of our 2015 Business Fair that will be held later in the Spring. During that fair, at least 10% of all profits will be donated to the charity that is voted on by the students. This assignment will determine the top ten, which will later be voted on. Have fun nominating your favorite charity! This assignment will be due in Canvas on Wednesday, Dec. 9.
Unit 6 Project: Letter to Future Self
In Unit 6 we will begin saying goodbye to our 1st semester on Personal Finance. We will look at topics like Debt, Wealth and Charity; and look back at everything else we've learned and ask "How then shall we live?" As we've said all year, the things we've learned in class matter, and will be useful to you one day. One big problem, however; is that day might still be a long way off.
So to finish off our study of Personal Finance, you will be writing a letter to your future self. You will use official Business Letter Format, and you will, among other things, try to remind your future self about some of the most important things you learned way back during the first semester of 2015-2016. If everything goes according to plans, you will actually receive this letter sometime in the Spring of your Senior year, just a month or two before you're scheduled to graduate high school and truly begin your adult life.
So pay attention to the rubric so that you make a good grade, but also try to have some fun with it. See if you can make your future self laugh. Or really go for it and see if you can make them cry! Maybe you could actually inspire them at a time when they really need it. But at the very least, you can remind them of some of the significant things you've learned so far this year in Business class. The first draft will be due in class on Thursday, Dec. 3 for a Peer Editing grade, and the Final Draft will be due PRINTED ON PAPER, in a self addressed envelope on Wednesday, Dec. 9.
Midterm Exam Insurance Policy Project
Students will work in groups to construct workable, fair, and useful Midterm Exam Insurance Policies. The policies can be to protect against failure, or to ensure a certain grade is earned. Students are encouraged to be creative and have fun. The very best policy submitted (if it is truly fair) will actually be offered to students to use for their upcoming Midterm Exam. See the detailed rubric below. The final document will be due to be emailed (shared) to Mr. Baker by Friday, Nov. 20th.
Unit 4 Test Study Guide
Unit 4's Test is this coming Friday, Nov. 6. See the Unit 4 Study Guide below. Students should know all of the terms (their meaning and their significance) and be able to answer all of the questions. If they know all of that information, they should be able to perform well on the test. Studying for tests is important, and should include more than just reading over the notes the night before. Daily review for several days before the test, actively asking questions about things that are not fully understood, and trying to replicate test-like scenarios (where you have to produce answers without looking at notes) are the most effective ways to study. I've also included a "Flashcard Kit" to help you make flashcards to help you review some of the key terms from this unit. Come and see me after school on Tuesday or Thursday if you have questions or would like to review.
Investment Portfolio Blog/Vlog
So now that you're dabbling in the stock market others may want to read or hear about your adventures, misfortunes, funny stories, and lessons learned. They may even want your advice on companies to buy and companies to stay away from. So you will be creating your own Investment Blog (or Vlog, for all you aspiring Youtubers out there). So have fun with it, and make it quality--it will be published and distributed to a real audience. The first Blog/Vlog Post will be due on Monday, Nov. 9, the day we come back from Thanksgiving Break. See the rubric and example below:
Fund Picker (Mutual Funds & Index Funds, & ETF's)
Now that you know that Mutual Funds and Index Funds are shortcuts to diversification in your portfolio, I want you to include at least 5 of them into your Investment Portfolio. Feel free to do your own research (there's lots of information about this out there), but the link below will also provide you some ideas on top performing funds and EFT's from the past 3 years. You must complete Fund Picker and turn it into Canvas for Thursday, Nov. 29. Also go ahead and add the 5 Funds you pick into your Investment Portfolio by Thursday, Nov. 29 as well.
Stock Picker Round 2
Now that you've got your own (fake) investment portfolios with actual (fake) stocks in them, now it's time to branch out into more stocks that you might not have thought about before. My guess is your first ten stock picks focused on two main areas: Technology, and Consumer Goods. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with AAPL and MCD, but what about other ares of the economy? Healthcare? Financials? Industrial Goods? Don't limit yourself to food, clothes and phones. In Stock Picker Round 2 you'll use a web resource linked on the document below to help you scout out some new areas of the market. Stock Picker Round 2 will be due in Canvas on Weds., Oct. 28.
Once complete, you should log in to your How the Market Works online Investment Portfolio and buy some amount of the five companies you discovered here into your portfolio. This should also be done by Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Investment Portfolio Project
Students will create and manage their own investment portfolios for the rest of the school year. They are of course not graded on the performance of their investments, but on the process of managing the portfolio, and reflecting on its performance. However, students should be motivated to do as well as they can and manage their portfolios to be as profitable as possible, as the winner at the end of the year will receive a cash prize of real money!
Students will click on the appropriate link below to sign up for the class period where they have Business. They will then sign up for an account (they should use the same email account they use for their Google Drive, and a password they will certainly remember--because I will never know it, so I cannot help them if they forget). They will need a password from me to participate in our class's competition, and I will provide that during class. Once they're in, they're free to start trading and making money! Your first 10 Stock Purchases are due to be completed by Monday, Oct. 26.
In this assignment students will begin preparing for our Investment Portfolio Project by researching some stocks and making some stock picks based on criteria we have talked about in class. Students should have this completed and turned in through Canvas by the start of class on Friday, Oct. 23.
Article: Can Monkeys Pick Stocks Better than Experts?
This article tells the story of how the Wall Street Journal (a famous financial publication) attempted to test one economist's theory about the quality of service that stock brokers provide. We'll try to reproduce their experiment in class to see if we reach similar results.
Unit 3 Test Friday, Oct. 9: Study Guide
See the link to the Unit 3 Study Guide below. If students understand all the terms and how they relate to the unit, and can answer all the questions fully and completely, they should be in a position to do well on the test. The Quia Review Game gives the students an interesting way to review and see questions like the ones they might see on Friday's test. Our Unit 3 Test will be on Friday, Oct. 9.
Family Budget Project
Students will work together in groups to create a working family budget, where every dollars gets budgeted (spent) on paper, so they have a plan for where all their money will go. They will randomly draw for the size of their families and their monthly incomes, which will of course affect their final monthly budget. There will be three rounds, and each round will add new elements into the budget. At the end of the week, each group member will evaluate each other on how they worked on the project. Assignments will be done in class, and due in class each day.
Since it's hard to get real live speakers to come in and talk about this in person with teenagers, we proudly present "Voices of Debt":
Article Analysis: Is College Worth it?
Given all our discussions on the cost of college, I thought we should look at some outside perspectives on the topic. Read the articles below so we can discuss:
Career & College Presentation Project
Now that Students have all completed their primary research on future careers they might be interested in, what colleges might help them to get there, and what those colleges might cost; now students will work to create a presentation that summarizes their findings. At the end of the week, they will present their presentations to their parents or guardians, who will be helping me grade. See the rubrics and example below. A completed draft of the presentation will be due in class for peer review on Thursday, Sept. 17. The final version of the presentation document must be submitted to Canvas on Friday, Sept. 18, the presentation itself is to be given to your families over the weekend, and the Parent/Guardian Rubric will be due on Monday, Sept. 21.
College & Career Research
To kick off Unit 2: "How do I Pay for College?" we will begin by letting students do their own research on careers they are interested in, and in colleges that could actually help them to be qualified to work in those careers. Students should click on the link below, make a copy for themselves, and then complete it from start to finish. This document will be due in CANVAS by by the start of class Wednesday, Sept. 9.
Part 2: Now that you've isolated your top three schools--schools that could help you to achieve the careers you're interested in--we're going to research to find out the exact costs of actually going there! Research on the schools' websites to find the actual total cost of attendance for one year. Use the document below and follow the instructions to find the total cost of one year, project the future costs, and reflect on your findings. The completed College Cost Projections & Reflection is due in CANVAS by Friday, Sept. 11.
Unit 1 Test Friday, Sept. 4--Study Guide
We're finally there, our first Test of the year in Business class. Students are encouraged to review their notes, and go through the study guide in preparation for the test. The test will be taken using an online platform, either Canvas (if it works) or Quia.com, that students will be introduced to the week of the test. It is very important that students bring their computers and chargers to school on Thursday (when we will practice with the online systems), and especially on Friday, Sept. 4, when we take the test. Please see the Study Guide below:
Car Shopper Project
Students will now put their car shopping skills to use for real people in the real world. They will be assigned a Buyer, and will need to shop for that buyer based on the buyer's specifications for price, type of car, etc. By the end of the week, each student will have written up a short report on a car they feel reasonably meets the buyer's needs. We will then send the buyers our reports, so they can go hopefully go and see some of the cars this coming weekend. This project will be done mainly in class this week, and will be due (shared with Mr. Baker) on Friday, Aug.28.
Free Cars for Life?
Dave Ramsey is a well known radio and TV personality, who specializes in personal finance and entrepreneurship. I don't agree with him on everything, but I thought this was a pretty interesting video released by his team. It's about a different approach to paying for cars, and I thought it was nice and relevant to what we've been talking about in class. I only have one major issue with what they're saying--can you figure out what that one problem might be? Even with that potential problem, I still think the concept is strong. Enjoy.
Dream Car Evaluation
Now that we've all seen and heard about your Dream Car, it's time to see what it would actually look like to become the owner of that dream. You will use various resources on the web to find your dream car for real, in the real world, for sale, as nearby as possible. Maybe it's for sale at a dealership, maybe it's posted for sale on Craigslist, or somewhere else. Then you will note the asking price, and evaluate it vs. what the experts at Kelly Blue Book, and other "fair price" websites say.
Given that most of us cannot afford our dream cars anytime soon, you will finish out this assignment by finding a "Reasonable Alternative" to your dream car--something nearby in the area that you might actually be able to afford sometime in the next few years. Use the Form below to walk you through this exercise, and be sure to answer all of the questions thoroughly. This assignment will be due in student shared folders by Friday, August 21th.
Dream Car Presentation
To kick off our first real unit, Unit 1: How do I buy a Car?, students will do a short, simple presentation on the car of their dreams. See the presentation linked below for an explanation, a rubric, and an example of what the presentation might look like. Each student will present their short presentation in our next class on Monday or Tuesday. Therefore, each student's completed Dream Car Presentation needs to be in their Shared Folders by Monday, August 17.
Setting Up a Shared Folder
In class today we will be setting up Shared Folders through your Google (Gmail) account. This will be the way you turn in electronic assignments this year. We'll try to do it together, but just incase you can't make it today, or if you forgot your computer and needed to do it later, the step by step instructions are listed below. Make sure to have this set up by Friday, Aug. 14 for a classwork grade.
Student Introduction Email Assignment
Using what they have learned about proper Email Etiquette, students will write an email introducing themselves to me, and send it to my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). The email will need to be received by Friday, Aug. 14.
Parent/Guardian Contact Info Form
Your first assignment is a very easy one. Take the Parent/Guardian Contact Info form home to your family and have them fill it out. Bring it back Wednesday, Aug. 12 for an easy homework grade. If you lose your paper copy, you can print out and extra copy for yourself as it's linked below. Also, if any Parents/Guardians are willing to fill out the form online (my preferred method), that form is linked here also:
Welcome Class of 2019!
Welcome to Voyager Academy--we're glad to have you! Please be sure to Bookmark this website (both Students and Parents) as it will be a frequently used resource in class this year.
Much for info to come, but for now a couple of things you can do to get ready for the start of school:
1 working Google (gmail) account that will function as their school email
1 set of working headphones
1 one-inch 3-ring notebook
2 packs of notebook dividers (at least 10 dividers)
1 journal/notepad/notebook to be a Homework/Assignments Journal/Notebook (will be used for all classes, not just Business)
I'm excited and looking forward to the year ahead of us. Thanks, and see you Monday!
My apologies, as my syllabus is lengthy, but my purpose is to ensure that both students and parents are fully aware of how I will run my class, procedures, expectations, rules, etc. If you have any questions please fell free to contact me.