Friday, October 15, 2021

Life on Minimum Wage - A Personal Economics Simulation Game

Almost twelve years ago I published a Google Document that outlines a personal economics simulation that I conducted in my classroom. For many years after that it was the most-requested Google Doc that I published. Then for the last few years I haven't had any requests for it. In fact, I forgot that I had even published it. That changed this week when out of the blue I got a few requests for it. You can get a copy of my simulation, Life on Minimum Wage right here

The purpose of Life on Minimum Wage is for students to recognize how difficult it is to save money when your only job(s) pay minimum wage without benefits. To win at Life on Minimum Wage the students have to reach five financial goals that they select. To earn money the students have to complete the tasks of their assigned jobs. The students then have to pay required bills before using money for their selected financial goals. As the game progresses students will be issued "surprise" cards which require them to spend money on things like speeding tickets, trips to a health clinic, and increases in rent.

All of the jobs in Life on Minimum Wage are connected so that if one business slows production or closes, the workers of another business are also impacted. The goal here is to demonstrate the effects of a business closing on a small town's economy.

Important notes before using this activity:
I created this activity twelve years ago and I have not adjusted it for inflation since then. You'll probably want to do that.

Before you email me about the Browning rifle goal card, please understand that these were goals chosen by my students in a rural community in which hunting is often a family tradition. You're welcome to change that card for use in your own classroom.

How to Create a Video in Canva

Yesterday, Canva released a new video editor. As I mentioned in yesterday's post about it, Canva has had some video creation tools for a couple of years, but this is a new option that can be used to create anything from a thirty second personal introduction clip to a long documentary-style video and anything in between. 

I tested out Canva's new video editor and found it rather easy to use. I made this video to demonstrate how it works from start to finish. 



To learn about the many other things that you and your students can do with Canva, please take a look at this playlist of Canva tutorials that I've created.

Fifteen Exit Ticket Questions for Almost Any Classroom

This is an excerpt from this week's Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. The newsletter is sent every Sunday evening (Eastern Time) and it includes my tip of the week and summary of the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers. You can sign up for the newsletter right here. 

Whether an exit ticket is conducted with digital tools or on scraps of paper (a strategy I abandoned years ago because I always seemed to misplaced a paper or two), strategy is the same. I try to ask questions that aren't "yes/ no" but can still be answered by all students in just a minute or two. To that end, here's a list of general purpose exit ticket questions that I developed and have used at various times in my career.

1. What’s a new-to-you word or term you heard today?

2. What’s one thing you’d change about today’s lesson?

3. How did today’s lesson make you feel?
 
4. How well do you think you’d do if we had a quiz next week?
 
5. How would you describe today’s lesson to a classmate who was absent?

6. What was your favorite part of today’s lesson?

7. What surprised you about today’s class?
 
8. What’s something you wish was different in class?
 
9. What’s one question you’d put on a quiz about today’s lesson?
 
10. How would you help a classmate who didn’t understand today’s lesson?
 
11. What’s one thing you’d like to learn more about?
 
12. What was the easiest part of today’s class?
 
13. How did today’s lesson fit with the one before it?
 
14. What do you think the next lesson will be about?
 
15. What was the hardest part of today’s class?