This is the fourth of nine installments about how I attempt to teach the whole child. Last week’s blog reflected on how I teach Spiritual Wellness in Physical Education and Health. It also discusses how I believe it is every teacher’s duty to teach the entire child. After writing my original blog on why I teach Physical Education and Health, I received feedback from Shrehan Lynch (@misslynchpe) that there are currently nine dimensions of wellness that are being taught at the collegiate level. Armed with that feedback and the encouragement of Mel Hamada (mjhamada) this has now morphed into a nine-part blog series. I fully expect that I am derelict in my teaching of several areas of wellness. This blog series will allow me to highlight those areas I need to improve.
This week we will be analyzing the what, how, and why I teach Financial Wellness. According to the University of New Hampshire, financial wellness is the ability to, “Live within your means and learn to manage your finances for the short and long term.” Link Remember that line you read above that stated I would be derelict in my teaching of certain wellnesses? Welcome to the first wall I have run into. I do not teach financial wellness.
This is the time where you tell me I am a physical education teacher and I do not need to be teaching financial wellness. Save it for the math teachers. Isn’t elementary school too early to be tackling financial wellness anyway? I will save you time and energy and push back by saying if I am serious about teaching the entire person then I must address financial wellness. There has to be a way.
I have activities that work on identifying coins and dollars. We make change and even have used money to buy back equipment for games. I have never addressed the idea that financial wellness is a skill that can be addressed in my class. This will be the first of many times I am going to ask you the reader how can I teach financial wellness in my class. I will be asking this in my Voxer groups and will document how I taught financial wellness to my students in the two weeks. I will write an addendum to the bottom of the blog with the date and an exact description of what I did.
Today my students chose an exercise in order to obtain a piece of equipment or use a locomotor movement. They then used that equipment to perform a task. When they completed the task they would come to the bank and get paid for completion of that task. Here is the link to my 1/2 grade activity, here is the link to my 3/4 grade activity here is the link to my 5/6 grade activity.
The students were now instructed to work in groups to earn 50$. Every 50$ they moved up one level. Their goal was to get to level 30 which simulated a month. I threw a curve ball in there that I called life. Every fourth step they had to roll a 12 sided dice. Each number of the dice had something that would either propel them forward or backward. Examples would be saving for retirement, going out to dinner and a movie, or paying off a credit card. The reflections were the best part of the unit. Students were able to understand that you need to work to earn money, had to save for emergencies and retirement, and that expenses pop up in life all the time. This unit was fantastic and is definitely something I will do again in the future!!