Fifth graders are kids playing the stock market game, checking gains and losses, and evaluating the pros and cons of each trade.
Public schools are required in Maryland to teach financial literacy. Each school system comes up with its own plan, says William Reinhard, spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education. The concepts can be part of math or social studies, or be taught independently.
At Cromwell Valley Elementary School, three fifth graders check their cash balance and equity before deciding which stocks in their portfolio to sell. The students, part of Flo Falatko’s class in room 18, are participating in the Stock Market Game. All fifth grade classes at the school play the game, but room 18 is set up as a complete financial organization, with jobs, salaries, a bank and a store.
“You can teach anything to kids,” Falatko said. “You have to be excited and then they get excited.”
Falatko notes that students are working as a team while reinforcing math, writing, and public speaking skills.