Making Cents of Financial Literacy and Economic Education
information for Pennsylvania teachers in grades K - 12
 October 2013 
Free Webinars Coming Up

Register Now for the October and November Making Cents Webinars

The topics and speakers for the October 24th and November 20th Making Cents webinars have been announced and online registration is open. These free online professional development programs are offered at two times to accommodate various schedules: 3:00pm - 4:30pm and 6:30pm - 8:00pm. Each offers Act 48 credit to participants with a valid PPID number.

The October 24th sessions will feature the following topics and speakers:
  • My Classroom Economy presented by Nate Prosser of Vanguard - This program will share how to transform a standard "token economy" behavior management system into a well-developed financial education tool across all grade levels. (
  • An Introduction to Behavioral Economics presented by Dr. Andrew Hill of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia -  Ever wonder why people make choices they know aren't good for them? Behavioral economics can provide some insight. This presentation will provide an introduction to what behavioral economics is and how we can use it in the classroom.
  • Using Social Media as a Financial or Economic Educator presented by Hilary Hunt of the Making Cents Project - This brief presentation will provide tips for using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to keep current on financial and economic education resources and news.
The November 20th sessions will feature the following topics and speakers:
  • Banzai! presented by Kendall Buchanan of Banzai - This session will provide an overview of Banzai's free online financial education program including its popular Life Scenarios. The Banazi program is recommended for students ages 13-18 and is completed online via computer or mobile device. (
  • Money as You Learn presented by Dr. Julie Heath of the University of Cincinnati - Find out about the Money as You Learn website developed as a recommendation of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. The site provides teachers with Common Core aligned texts, lessons, and tasks that connect the Common Core to real life applications. (
  • Making the Case for Financial Education presented by Hilary Hunt of the Making Cents Project - This brief presentation will provide current statistics and information to help educators make the case to administrators, parents, and others about the need for financial education. 

Registration is limited, so please reserve your spot now. Registration information for all of the webinars can be found at


These webinars are offered free of charge to all Pennsylvania teachers and administrators through a partnership of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Penn State University. 

Resource Spotlight
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure 


The Great Piggy Bank Adventure is a fun way to help young people learn valuable lessons about saving and spending wisely. In this online game players take a journey through a virtual world as they try to accomplish their dream goals. The game takes students through three levels with the following goals:

  • Level 1: Teaches goal setting and saving for that goal. The time horizon is one year.
  • Level 2: Teaches goal setting, saving, asset allocation, and inflation. The time horizon is six years.
  • Level 3: Teaches goal setting, saving, asset allocation, inflation, and diversification. The time horizon is three years.  

The game is offered online or through apps for various mobile devices at A quick guide for educators and full instructors guide are available here. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure is offered through a partnership of T. Rowe Price and Walt Disney Imagineering. Kids can also visit The Great Piggy Bank Adventure interactive exhibit in Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Making Cents Project Launches Website 

A website has launched for the Making Cents project.  At educators can find resources to help teach personal finance, an archive of previous e-blasts and webinars, research and news, and information on upcoming programs. Bookmark the site and feel free to provide any recommendations or feedback you might have from visiting it. 


Please feel free to share the site with fellow educators, as well.


In-Person Professional Development 
Federal Reserve Financial Education Day: A Professional Development Program for Teachers 

Join other educators at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on October 23rd for an evening professional development program. The program will introduce grades 7-12 teachers to the Federal Reserve's new Financial Fundamentals from the Fed lessons. Participants will receive 2.5 hours of Act 48 credit, dinner, and curriculum resources. Registration is $10 and can be completed online at 

Jump$tart Coalition's National Educator Conference

Teachers from around the country will be coming to Washington, DC November 1-3 to attend the Jump$tart Coalition's the National Educator Conference.  The conference provides PreK-12 educators with financial education resources, personal and professional development, access to a nationwide network of colleagues, and general support for financial education. The registration fee for classroom teachers is $395 and includes hotel accommodations for two nights and all conference meals. More information is available at

Expand Your Knowledge 
C Bowen
Keeping Financial Records 
by Cathy Faulcon Bowen, Ph.D.


Very few people get excited about keeping financial records. Most will have a sigh of relief when they finish that weekly or monthly chore of putting records in proper places. Yet keeping financial records is a key to financial stability and financial security.  The typical teen is focused on spending money on wants.  How can teachers plant seeds that encourage youth to see the value of keeping financial records and to start keeping records related to personal finance?  Make it fun!


Make a game or competition out of record keeping and use electronic tools that attract teens' attention.  Divide the class into two groups.  Group 1 can keep a daily log of money spent for a month or longer using low-tech tools, paper and pencil or perhaps a spreadsheet. Group 2 can keep track of spending by using tech tools such as free phone apps that record expenses on smartphones or use a cloud-based service such as  Students can even do the preliminary research and identify the apps you determine can be used for the assignment.  Spending logs could be kept for a few weeks, a semester or a year.  The longer the log is kept, the more likely the habit of maintaining spending records will be established.  Group reports detailing the experience (pros, cons or lessons learned) could be given at the midpoint and/or end of the period you determined for the assignment.


Another practical activity that could encourage recordkeeping is having students set up a personal filing system. Soon to be graduates, who will continue their education by attending college or technical school or those who expect to go directly in the job market will have records they should maintain.  Half the battle of record keeping is having a system set up beforehand to collect records.  A portable file based on expected needs may be the best graduation gift students get, courtesy of their own effort.


Finally, electronic versions of receipts, bills and other key financial documents such as checking account statements, seem to be a growing trend.  A lesson on downloading, organizing, and storing electronic records and precautions to consider will be important to cover with students. Today's students are so comfortable with technology they may never think about or plan for the "what if" emergency-like event that may occur and can be solved with a record or evidence. As more companies (e.g., banks) and products offer electronic statements only, students need to be aware of precautions they should take to file and maintain electronic records they can access as needed.

Quick Links
Upcoming Webinars
Great Piggy Bank Adventure
New Making Cents Website
Federal Reserve Education Day
Jump$tart National Educator Conference
Keeping Financial Records
Money Matters on Campus
Like the Making Cents Project on Facebook

Facebook can be a useful tools for staying current with information. You can find the Making Cents Project's new Facebook page here

New Report 
Money Matters on Campus 


A report on a recent survey of 40,000 first-year college students across the U.S. by EverFi and Higher One is now available online. The entire report - or just the infographic below with key findings - would make for an interesting conversation starter with high school students.  Find out more here



About this Message 

Making Cents is a cooperative effort by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State University. If you find the content useful, please consider forwarding it to your colleagues. 


Team Members:

Sally Flaherty, PDE

Cathy F. Bowen, PSU

Hilary Hunt, Consultant

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