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Financial Literacy for Teens

Financial Literacy for Teens

I have three kids. One is now 20 and in college, the others aren’t far behind at almost 18 and 15! I have been working with them on financial literacy topics to help them become more independent while being responsible with their money. One day my daughter commented to me as I was helping her complete her W-4 for her new job, “I wish they taught this stuff in school. It’s so dumb that they waste time on other less important things and they never help us understand the things we need to do for a job or how to file our taxes.” Of course, she is 100% right! It was a lightbulb moment for me in seeing that there is a real need for some curriculum materials to create for my kids, but also to get out there to help all the other teens that need this!

I sat down to make a list of the critical things a teen in high school or starting out in college needs to know. Really, the key skills I have been helping my own kids with. First, just setting up that basic savings account to save some allowance or gift money for some of their future wants and needs.

Next, it’s a good idea for a teen who is ready to embark on their first job to open a checking account so that they are all ready to be paid via direct deposit when that job offer comes it!

stick figure holding a pen and check

Being offered that first job seems to be the big hurdle, but once the offer is made the teen walks away with a pile of paperwork such as a W-4 and direct deposit form and they often have no clue how to proceed!

Then, the shock of that first paycheck hits them when they come face to face with FICA for the first time!


Once the shock of paying taxes wears off, teens discover that they might be able to get some of that money back in the form of a tax refund! However, they need to file that 1040 to do it! This product, Jobs and Taxes for Teens, will help teens complete all these steps: fill out the W-4, read a paystub, understand their W-2, and file their 1040 return to get their refund.

calculator and wallet laying on desk captioned with Jobs and Taxes for Teens

Finally, students will learn about credit and debit cards and most importantly, how interest charges can easily snowball out of control very quickly! Moderation and responsibility is the key!

credit card dominoes

Being financially literate is so important to start off adulthood in a responsible manner so that a credit score is built in a positive way to lead them to be able to afford to buy cars, homeownership, and the other riches of the American Dream!

You can find these units bundled together for a 20% savings!



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

The Importance of Community with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

The Importance of Community with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a thought-provoking book dealing with the subject of family, sacrifice, teamwork, and leading kids to think about their feelings on animal testing. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH written by Robert C. O’Brien was published in 1971. The novel was a Newbery Medal winner in 1972 and was adapted into a movie, The Secret of NIMH, in 1982.

The novel is extraordinary that it speaks to both young readers and adults, in a little different way. It is sure to spark some deep conversations amongst your class about the intelligence of animals and ignite debate about the practice of animal testing in the medical and scientific community.

From the Book Jacket:

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby, in turn, renders them a great service.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

The plight of Mrs. Frisby and her family with help from an intelligent rat community is a story that will captivate your readers from the start. It has a little mystery, some adventure, some villans, and it shows the strength that we have when a community comes together to help one another.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

The Persevering Pinballs

The Persevering Pinballs

I was a voracious reader as a child. One of the many books that I read that has stuck with me as special and memorable was Betsy Byars’, The Pinballs. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

 

 

The Pinballs was published in 1976, so it is a little dated, but the underlying themes in the story will still resonate with kids today, and in today’s turbulent times maybe even more so! Kids can relate to the feeling of having no power and being bounced around like a pinball only going where they are pushed to go.

From the Book Jacket:

Carlie knows she’s got no say in what happens to her. Stuck in a foster home with two other kids, Harvey and Thomas J, she’s just a pinball being bounced from bumper to bumper. As soon as you get settled, somebody puts another coin in the machine and off you go again. But against her will and her better judgment, Carlie and the boys become friends. And all three of them start to see that they can take control of their own lives.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Pinballs for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

pinball machine

Kids will find something to relate to in Carlie, Thomas J, and Harvey’s experiences. Topics of foster care, child abuse, alcoholism are as relevant today as they were in 1976. Byars hits these themes head-on and kids will appreciate the bluntness of the reality. Students will feel the pain that these protagonists experience and they will also journey with these characters to find that ray of hope that can lead you to a better place. Perseverance is the name of the game with these characters and it is a good lesson for any young reader to see and feel to help with their own personal struggles.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Overcoming Life’s Obstacles with a Friend at your Side.

Overcoming Life’s Obstacles with a Friend at your Side.

Beverly Cleary is a legend in children’s literature. Two of my favorite books are Dear Mr. Henshaw and the sequel, Strider, that take you on the journey of young Leigh Botts in his acceptance to his parent’s divorce and the road to acceptance of himself. They are great books to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

Beverly Cleary has always strived to write books “about kids like us”. Her books are beloved because they are so relatable to her readers. Leigh struggles with his parent’s separation and his father’s absence due to his job as a truck driver. In Dear Mr. Henshaw Leigh connects with a favorite author and develops a pen pal relationship that helps him work through his feelings and anxieties.

From the Book Jacket for Dear Mr. Henshaw:

Beverly Cleary’s timeless Newbery Medal-winning book explores difficult topics like divorce, insecurity, and bullying through the thoughts and emotions of a sixth-grade boy as he writes to his favorite author, Boyd Henshaw.

After his parents separate, Leigh Botts moves to a new town with his mother. Struggling to make friends and deal with his anger toward his absent father, Leigh loses himself in a class assignment in which he must write to his favorite author. When Mr. Henshaw responds, the two form an unexpected friendship that will change Leigh’s life forever.

From the beloved author of the Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby, and Ralph S. Mouse series comes an epistolary novel about how to navigate and heal from life’s growing pains.

Leigh’s story of growth and acceptance continues in Strider when he takes in a stray dog (Strider) that helps him accept his place in the world, introduces him to a love for running, and gives him hope for the future.

From the Book Jacket for Strider:

Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn’t an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn’t want to leave me.

Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He’s a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running — well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents’ divorce and gets to know a redheaded girl he’s been admiring. With Strider’s help, Leigh finds that the future he once hated to be asked about now holds something he never expected: hope.

I offer complete novel studies to accompany Dear Mr. Henshaw and Strider for use in the classroom or homeschool. Each unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

hand holding pen writing a letter

Beverly Cleary does a masterful job of showing Leigh’s growth through her portrayal of his letter writing and narration which makes a wonderful example for point of view instruction. Many kids can relate to Leigh’s feelings of loneliness, insecurity, sadness over a divorce, missing a parent, trying to find their way and/or talent, and having a beloved pet that gives them unconditional love. The universal relatability is what makes Dear Mr. Henshaw and Strider such wonderful novels to use in your classroom.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

The Fight for Freedom of Speech with The Landry News

The Fight for Freedom of Speech with The Landry News

The Landry News by Andrew Clements is a thought-provoking book about the role a teacher plays and how much power a student has to publicly share their opinions. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

Unfortunately, we’ve all had that teacher that just does the bare minimum and instills no enjoyment in learning. How many have just pushed through until we can move on? What lengths would your students go to fight the system? Clement’s main character Cara, goes above and beyond with some unexpected consequences.

From the Book Jacket:

The bad news is that Cara Landry is the new kid at Denton Elementary School. The worse news is that her teacher, Mr. Larson, would rather read the paper and drink coffee than teach his students anything. So Cara decides to give Mr. Larson something else to read — her own newspaper, The Landry News.


Before she knows it, the whole fifth-grade class is in on the project. But then the principal finds a copy of The Landry News, with unexpected results. Tomorrow’s headline: Will Cara’s newspaper cost Mr. Larson his job?

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Landry News for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

smiling girl holding newspapers

Cara is rightfully annoyed with her teacher but she is also struggling with issues of her own. Cara learns that she needs to balance her pain while still sharing the facts. The Landry News comes with themes about First Amendment rights, the role of a newspaper in society, and balancing truth with mercy. It’s a thought-provoking story that your students will find a truth that they can relate to.



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.