POL's will be happening this Friday, May 30th. Don't forget to dress nicely (guys in ties). If you have a visual presentation that will support what you are saying during your POL, you need to share it to the following email: VoyagerHSPOL@gmail.com
When you report to your assigned room on Friday, everyone will access this on gmail account/google drive to find their presentations. This will spare us from having to sign in and sign out of everyone's account all morning. If you have a Powerpoint file that you need to actually upload, contact me and I will get you the information you need. Thanks!
Presentation of Learning (POL)
On Friday, May 30, the last day of school, you will do one last presentation for the school year. You will definitely want to dress to impress (guys should wear ties), and you should be prepared to give a great 5 minute presentation about what you've learned in Business Class this year to a small audience of peers, teachers, and local business leaders.
The topic of this 5 minute presentation (a walk in the park compared to other presentation assignments I've given you this year) is basically "What are the two biggest things you have learned this year in Business class?" This presentation is essentially a verbal reflection on what you will take away from class this year. Once you've identified your 2 Major Learnings, you'll want to provide some evidence from different areas of your life to demonstrate how you have learned these things. A simple powerpoint to support what you are saying and help show the evidence is also recommended. Major Learnings can be concrete like "I learned how to format a presentation," or more intangible, like "I learned to trust myself,"--the choice is up to you. The whole school is doing this project together, so you're not alone. See the rubric and example below:
Business Fair Experience Reflection
Congratulations! The fair was awesome! If I could change anything, I would have loved to had our outdoor spaces available to us and better weather. I think that would have made it feel less crowded, and there would have been even more variety to what the fair had to offer.
Now that the fair is over, it's time to reflect on the experience and what you learned. Profit or loss, there is much that can be learned from having run your own small business. See the Rubric and a very basic example of the format below:
Note: This is an Individual Assignment--you are not to collaborate on this in anyway. It is your personal reflection and no one else's.
Business Fair this Week! Thurs, May 15, 10:00-11:30
This is the week where is all happens--make whatever preparations you need to make your booth at the fair excellent! Signs for your booth, Marketing and Advertising, any other preparations--they all need to happen before Thursday. Have fun! See the Rubric below:
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 to view as they anticipate May 15th's Business Fair.
And the Winner is...
American Cancer Society, who will again be the official Charity Beneficiary of the Business Fair! Thanks to all who voted!
Charity Runoff Vote!
So after initial returns have been counted, American Cancer Society and Wounded Warriors have tied! Therefore we need to have a runoff--click on the link below to cast your final vote:
Financial Literacy Month Challenge: Enter to win a Chromebook!
April is Financial Literacy Month, and Dave Ramsey and his business have partnered with Fifth-third Bank to offer this online Financial Literacy Challenge to High Schooler's across the country. We haven't covered everything in this online quiz in class this year, but we have covered a lot of it. All High Schooler's are eligible, and it puts you in position to potentially win a free Chromebook. So give it a try if you have a chance--the challenge ends Thursday, April 24th at midnight.
Welcome back from Break!
I hope everyone had a great break--we've got about six weeks left and lots to do, so to get started, please click on the link below and complete the form:
Business Fair "Pitch" Presentation
Today in class you and your group will come to consensus (agreement) on what you will do for your business at the Business Fair. After coming up with your idea, you can begin working on your presentation, or your "Pitch" that you will give to the school for approval. Remember everything you have learned about effective presentations in class this year, and see the rubric below:
End of the Year State Test Terms
Below is a link to the many terms you may see on the End of the Year State Test. Many of them we have already studied, many of them you have not. We will do our best to cover the ones you do not yet know before the test in late May. However, first it would be good to go through them and fill in the ones you already do know, as a way of review. Then we can clearly see the the ones you still need to learn and can focus our efforts there.
In May students will take the North Carolina Career & Technical Education (NC CTE) Examination for Principles of Business & Finance. The test is administered online though the website linked here.
In preparation for this exam, we will not only review specific content in class and provide students with a study guide, but we will also take practice examinations through this same website. I am posting the link to the testing website here so that students can navigate to the site easily. For future reference, the link to the testing website will also now appear under "Links" on the right hand side of this page.
Unit 10 Study Guide
The Unit 10 Test is approaching soon, as we will certainly take it before Spring Break. Unit 10 may be some of our most difficult content, but I have truly been proud of how my students have strived to learn these challenging concepts. The study guide linked below will offer both review and practice for students as they prepare for the test.
To help get you ready to apply for jobs this summer, we're going to have you work on a simple resume. Use the template below to create a working resume for yourself.
Remember, your goal is not to be exhaustive (to say everything you can about yourself), but to be impressive (to catch the attention of a potential employer in a good way). Highlight your strengths, but remember sometimes less is more: no need to include awards from 4th grade--keep them recent. No need to share every little detail of every volunteer activity you have ever done--highlight the recent ones that have the most relevance to the position you are applying for. The goal of the resume is to be interesting enough to get you an interview--a good resume along will never get you a job; just the opportunity. So have fun, be creative, and make a quality resume for yourself that might get you in the door for an interview.
Career Interview Project
In this unit every student will be asked to interview a professional about their work and how they got to be doing it. Ideally students would be talking with someone working in a field they could see themselves working in someday. Students would contact the professional and complete the interview using the packet linked here:
This project works best when the student, or one of the students' family members actually knows someone in the field the student hopes to work in someday. If no one in the family knows anyone in the student's desired field, they can complete a request through the form linked below, and we will try to connect them with someone through the school's networks.
Even after submitting a request to the Networking Needs Form, students are still encouraged to pursue other professionals through their family's contacts. If the school's networks are also unable to provide them a contact in their desired field, the student should interview someone else through their family's networks in order to complete the assignment on time, even if it is not someone in their ideal profession.
"What's Your Road?" Activity
In Unit 9 we will more closely examining careers, and how to get a job we're actually interested in doing. To that end, we will take advantage of video interviews with people who have been successful doing things they love. Below is a sheet students should complete as they watch their videos:
Unit 8 Study Guide
As our Unit 8 Test is coming up this Friday (Feb. 28), students are encouraged to work their way through the Unit 8 Study Guide linked below. If they can thoroughly explain each of the terms (what they mean and why they are important), and if they can thoroughly answer all of the questions, then they should be prepared to do well on the test.
Business Project Presentation Flow Chart
The Business Presentation Project is here, and for some, their presentation dates are not too far away. Don't be afraid--you can do this! Because it is a big project, and there are lots of different parts of it, I've made a flow chart to help you keep track of where you are and what you're supposed to be doing. You're never done until it's over. Maybe you're still in Stage 1, or maybe Stage 2, or possibly even Stage 3. Wherever you are, you pick up with that work, and then move to the next stage.
Just for Fun on a Snow Day: Crazy Video
Students, if you recall a week or so ago, right after I got back to school from my family's time in China, I shared with you some pictures we took along the way. I distinctly remember a number of you getting queasy when I showed the pictures from on top of Shanghai's tallest completed building, the IWFC (International World Finance Center). For those of you that got squeamish from just those photos, you probably shouldn't watch the following video. Remember the building still under construction right next door to the IWFC? How it was already taller than the IWFC even thought it wasn't done yet? These guys apparently climbed it.
Not entirely sure if this is real--the pictures look like they could be fake, but the video looks pretty legit. Not sure how'd they'd fake this either. Either way, it's kind of fun to watch. Enjoy.
Snow Day Instructions
Because I know that ALL of my students would go first thing to the internet on Thursday morning to check on my website to see if there were any special instructions for work to be done on the Snow Day while they are out from school, I decided to post something. :)
As we discussed on Wednesday (for those who made it school), the next time I see you--possibly Friday, possibly Monday... possibly Tuesday?--your Research Notes will be due for a homework grade. These Research Notes are the notes you are taking are for your Business Presentation Project (see below), and in these notes you should be answering the questions from the rubric (also see below). As I mentioned to students Wednesday, you will want to take lots of good notes, not just simple facts. You want the stories that answer the questions of the rubric. These notes will eventually become the content of your presentation, so do a good job. One-two pages if you are taking them on the computer, 3-4 pages if you are taking them handwritten.
Even though we will have to make them up later on, enjoy your day(s) off for now. Stay safe, and I'll see you when we get back.
Business Presentation Project
Students will give a 15-20 minute presentation on the past, present, and future of a business of their choice. They will present as if they were a representative of the business, presenting to a group of potential investors.
Kiva Presentation Voting
You have worked hard researching your country, you have created a short presentation about that country and a real life entrepreneur from that country--now it's time to do your presentation, and hopefully help make a difference in the life of a one of your class's developing country entrepreneurs.
Remember, these presentations should be relatively low-stress. You'll notice on the rubric that there is no evaluation of your presentation skills in this grade. Cover the material you're supposed to cover, but more just focus on educating your audience of what you've learned about your country, and make a case for your potential borrower to be awarded your class's $100.
Unit 7 Lecture, Part 3
And now for the exciting conclusion of the Unit 7 lecture...
Unit 7 Lecture, Part 2
And now for another exciting episode of... International Business & Economics! Actually, in a fine example of how Legal and Political Factors affect international business, Google and China do not get along so well. Google famously left China (or was kicked out, depending on who tells the story) because they refused to have their content filtered (censored) by the Chinese government. So now while there is no Google in Mainland China, Google does exist in both Hong Kong, and Taiwan--who, depending on who you ask, are also both parts of China. Sort of confusing, yes; but this does explain why the following videos will not be brought to you via Youtube (a Google product)--because China now actively blocks Youtube, and Google Drive, Google Sites, and sometimes Gmail in Mainland China. (Take that Google!) Thankfully they do not block Weebly, or Vimeo, who are helping me bring you our next video. Please click on the link below to be taken to a Vimeo page with the video:
Unit 7 Lecture, Part 1
Developing Country Website Project
Each student will create a web page that offers an overview of a developing country. These websites will be compiled and offered to the middle and elementary schools as a resource. Later, students will use Kiva.org to find an entrepreneur from their country, and will create a short presentation where they will nominate their person to receive their class's loanable funds. Each class will loan one entrepreneur from a developing country at least $100 to help with their business.
Letter from Mr. Baker:
I hope you had a great break! Mine was fun, but also busy. Our family had a very nice Christmas together, and then afterwards, we left for China. As you know, my family has been in the process of adopting a little girl for about a year now, and we are finally now to the point where we will meet our daughter in a little more than a week. Needless to say, we are very excited.
My absence, however, does present some challenges for my classes. It's not like I'll be gone for a day or two. I'll be gone for at least 3 weeks. And we don't have time to mess around--there is lots of important content we still need to cover in advance of the year-end State Exam. So I've prepared a project-based unit to convey the material, and I hope you enjoy it. If you allow yourself, I think you can learn a lot from what you are about to do.
To do this unit well while I am gone, you will need to manage your own learning and manage yourself well. I will attempt to do a few lectures by recorded video sessions. I think these can work, but you will need to be sure and pay close attention during the videos. I won't be able to able to immediately answer questions (though the teacher can certainly pause and rewind, and you yourself can re-watch it again later if you need to). I expect you to be respectful, attentive, and kind to the teacher. Please offer help if she runs into any issues. Also, for several parts of this project, you will need to take responsibility for your own work. If you are running into problems, you need to seek out solutions yourself. Ask the teacher. If she cannot help, ask a classmate. If they cannot help, ask another classmate. I will also set up a blog where students can ask me questions, but I wouldn't wait for me to answer you--the answers to the questions you have are most likely in the classroom right now. You just have to go and find them yourself.
While I hate to miss out on this unit, I am confident that you all will do this well. Good Luck, and Have Fun!
Just for Fun: Spent
Now that the Exam is over, relax and play a game. Spent is an online game that lets students practice the kinds of financial decisions people really face each day. This game also helps show the plight of people who live in poverty.
Some groups have wanted access to an image of the book cover for their projects... Here it is...
Midterm Exams, Study Guide
Midterm Exams are just around the corner. Below is a Study Guide for my Midterm Exam. Students would be wise to use it and start preparing for the exam now. There will be some time in class dedicated to review, but not to the point that they would not need to study at home. Of course students can always come and see me Tuesdays & Wednesdays after school if they have any questions.
Project Night: Book Launch Event, Thurs. Dec. 12, 5:30-8:00pm
Our 9th Grade Project night is coming up in less than two weeks--all students are expected to attend and work at the event. Complete the following form to let us know your preference for what you would like to do at the event:
As we head to the end of the semester, Midterm Exams, and eventually Winter Break, we will fit in one more unit on Marketing before we're done. This unit officially starts us into the "Principles of Business" that we will continue for the rest of the school year. This unit will be very hands-on and project-based, and will require students to come to class ready to work and keep themselves on task.
In preparation for the Book Launch Event to be held at the Hock Media Center on Thursday, Dec. 12, from 5:30-8:00, where students will be selling a book they wrote in their English class; students will "choose their own project." They will either choose to create a Marketing Campaign designed to increase attendance at the event, or to increase sales of the book. Or they can also choose to pitch a "Revenue-generating idea" of something else that could be done at the Book Launch Event on Dec. 12th to make money.
Regardless of which project students choose, they should be motivated, as the profits made at the Book Launch will go toward a reward experience/field trip for the whole 9th grade in the second semester. The rubric for the project is listed below:
In this assignment, students will nominate a Charity of their choosing to be the official beneficiary of our 2014 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 then, which will later be voted on. Have fun nominating your charity!
Article: My Philanthropic Pledge, by Warren Buffett
Today we'll read a letter written by Mr. Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in America, and in the whole world, about why he decided to give away 99% of his wealth before or at his death. A very interesting read.
Article: Learning from the Millionare Nextdoor
Today we're going to look briefly at Millionaires. A lot of research has been done about them, and they may not quite be who you think they are. We'll read the article below in class today, and you'll get the chance to reflect on your findings for a grade.
Business Letter Project: Letter to Self
In Unit 5 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 your freshman year. If everything goes according to plans, you will actually receive this letter sometime in the Spring of 2017, 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. Enjoy.
Investment Interview Assignment
In this assignment, students will interview an adult they know who has done some investing. The questions are all provided, except for two that the students will create themselves. In the end, students will reflect on what they learned from the interview. The assignment is due this coming Friday. All students who were present on Friday received a hard copy of the assignment, but for those who were absent, or who may have it lost it, I have attached an electronic version below:
Unit 4 Study Guide
It's that time again--we've looked at Saving & Investing for a couple of weeks now, so this week we will finish out the unit and then it will be time to move on to something else. The Unit 4 test is scheduled for this coming Friday, Nov. 15. The study guide for the test is linked below. If you can explain what all the terms are and why they're important, and if you can answer the questions, you should be in a position to do well on the test. Happy Veterans Day--enjoy the long weekend.
What's Your "Retirement Number?"
Update: For several of the classes today the Risk Tolerance Quiz was not working properly, so I have updated the original document (listed below) with a new Risk Tolerance Quiz. I've linked the new quiz here, and also added it into the document below. Use this one if you had problems with the other. Thanks, and sorry for any inconvenience.
In this project, students will research to find an estimate of the amount of money they should be trying to save up for their own retirement. Following the instructions on the linked document below, they will use multiple web resources to help them determine their answers.
Article: CNNMoney's Top 70 Mutual Funds & EFT's
In this article, CNNMoney.com offers their top picks for the best mutual funds based on past performance, experience, and cost.
Stock Market Simulation Sign-up
Click on your class's group below to sign up for your class's stock market simulation:
In this assignment, students will begin preparing for next week's project by making some stock picks based on some of the criteria we have talked about in class.
Article: Can Monkeys pick stocks better than Experts?
This article tells the story of how a famous financial publication attempted to test one economist's theory about the quality of service that stock brokers provide.
Vision Financial Credit Union Comes to Voyager
Vision Financial Credit Union will be coming to Voyager Academy High School Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 2:45-3:30pm in room E135, and will be opening accounts for interested students and parents.
The students in Mr. Baker's Business & Finance class have been learning about Banking and Budgeting in their current unit, and if any parent wants to extend their student's learning and let their child really start managing money on their own, then this could be a great opportunity.
Vision Financial will be opening Student Checking Accounts for students and their parents/guardians. Both the student and the parent must bring copies of valid identification (Voyager ID's will suffice for students). There is a minimum deposit of $25 that must be maintained in the account to avoid fees, but Vision Financial will be waiving the account set-up fee for this special event. This event is open to anyone in the Voyager Family, regardless of age.
Obviously having a checking account is a big responsibility for a young person--there is the possibility that students might mismanage the money in ways that would cause them to have to pay overdraft fees and things like that. But with the guidance and supervision of a loving parent or guardian, having an account at an early age can be a tremendous learning opportunity and help teach young people money management skills they will use for a lifetime.
Unit 3 Study Guide
The Unit 3 Test on Banking & Budgeting will be this coming Friday, so motivated students will all surely want to be reviewing the study guide below in advance to make sure they start off the 2nd Quarter strong.
Family Budgeting Project
Students will work together in groups to create a working, zero-balance, family budget, where every dollars gets budgeted (spent) on paper. 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.
Some of you having been working on these things for years, and some of you just barely started one last week. There may even be a few who do not have one at all. By the end of this week, everybody will have one, and will have at least 3 projects posted on it.
First, in your Shared Folders on Google Drive, click "Create" and drag down to "Document." Title the Document "Digital Portfolio Link," and paste a working link to your digital portfolio in it. This is how I will access your digital portfolios as I look to grade your work at the end of the week.
If you don't know, Digital Portfolios are beginning to be requested as major universities more and more as part of the application process. So coming off of Unit 2 on College, we're helping you get ready for that now. Remember that as your write these, your main audience is actually a college admissions officer.
Article: Getting a Clearer Picture of College Costs
One more article, offering another perspective on the cost of college. Click the link below to read:
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:
Career & College Research
To kick off Unit 2: "How do I Pay for College?" we will begin by letting students do their own primary research on careers they are interested in, and in colleges that could help them to be qualified to work those careers. Students should click on the link below, make a copy for themselves, and then complete it from start to finish. To follow up the first document, students will now complete the second document below, where they will first find the actual cost of 1 year at their schools, and then use a future cost projector tool to estimate how much it would cost them when they actually start college in 2017:
Analyzing Articles: "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:
Unit 1 Study Guide
The Unit 1 Study Guide includes lots of terms and concepts we've covered, and just a few that we haven't yet. We will review this next week in advance of our Unit 1 Test next Friday. Feel free to get a head start this weekend if you like.
Car Shopper Project
This week we will put your car shopping skills to the test, as we put you to work shopping for real people who are looking for cars right now. See the rubric below, as well as the required work for each day. First students will work in groups to find cars that fit their buyer's requirements, then they will each select one to write up a more comprehensive report about. After the final reports are revised and finalized, we will send them off to the buyers so they can see if our students have found the right car for them.
Dream Car Evaluation
Now that we've all had fun looking at dream cars, now it's time to see what reality has to say about our dream. We will use the attached sheet (after you open it, you will want to "Make a Copy" of it and put it into your shared folder) to analyze our dream car, find a nearby one for sale, and then run some price comparisons using some online car shopping tools.
Dream Car Mini Presentation
Students will create a short presentation using Google Drive describing their Dream Cars. They will then present these mini presentations to the class.
Shared Folder Setup & Student Introduction Assignment
Students will create a shared folder with me using Google Drive (see link to instructions below). Then, they will use Google Drive to create a document introducing themselves to me, and responding to the question "What is Success to you?" (see rubric linked below).
When finished, they will place the completed document into the shared folder they created, automatically "turning in" the assignment so I can view and grade it.