Institutes set for July

Enrollment update: The Economics Institute is full, but there may be cancellations that will free up space. If you register at you’ll get an update on availability. Places remain available in the Personal Finance Institute; register at
Institutes in economics and personal finance are set for July at JMU. The institutes are geared toward, but not limited to, teachers of the required high school class in personal finance and economics.

The Economics Institute, set for July 7-8-9 and 14-15-16, covers the economics portion of the class with instruction on content, methods and materials. The Personal Finance Institute, set for July 21-25, not only covers the personal finance part of the course but also provides excellent materials for personal financial planning by teachers.

The institutes, coordinated by the Virginia Council on Economic Education, are free to participants, thanks to generous financial support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the BB&T Charitable Foundation, Capital One, the Genworth Foundation, Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, Inc., the SunTrust Foundation, the Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation and Wells Fargo.

Stock Market Game winners honored

UntitledHere’s the Stock Market Game team from Wilson Elementary in Fishersville, posing at the state awards ceremony in Richmond. These four students won the elementary division of the fall 2013 game. The students were advised by Linda Bowers, librarian at Wilson. The students started with a hypothetical $100,000 and parlayed it into $108,388 in 10 weeks. All regional winners of the Stock Market Game are to be recognized at a reception at James Madison University on May 15. The JMU Center for Economic Education provides training and support for area teachers. Competition is conducted statewide by the Virginia Council on Economic Education.

Stover lesson published in SSRP

eraseA lesson by JMU’s Lynne Stover has been published by the peer-reviewed journal, Social Studies Research and Practice. The lesson, now available online, helps students understand the content of Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad. In this Civil War-era story, a farm girl in the South discovers a runaway slave and faces important choices about what to do next. This lesson is one in a series by the journal based on Notable Trade Books designated by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Stover lesson published

JMU’s Lynne Stover has authored a lesson on Booker T. Washington, who was born a slave in Virginia but rose to a distinguished career in higher education. The lesson, recently published on the Council for Economic Education’s national website econedlink, draws out economic content in the picture book Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim. Stover’s lesson includes content, activities, and links to additional resource materials. Here again is a link to the lesson:

and here is a link to all of Stover’s currently available lessons on

Stover: Personal finance can be fun

pigIn two new articles published at Scholar’s Choice, JMU’s Lynne Stover says that teaching financial concepts can be fun — and doesn’t have to be done in an exclusive class taught at a specific time.  ”Actually, integrating concepts that deal with decision-making and money matters into the curriculum is not only easy, it allows student to make connections between the content being taught and ‘real world’ understandings,” Stover writes.

Her suggestions include classroom barter discussions, writing activities about money, and job-related activities. Here are the two posts:

“Grab bags” highlight fall workshops

The Ice House

The Ice House

This fall’s series features a wide-ranging set of economic education workshops for K-12 educators. But in addition to the usual coverage, there’s an added feature: a grab bag of materials. Specifically, the Center for Economic Education will be moving late this year to the Ice House development on South Liberty Street in Harrisonburg. We don’t want to move more materials than necessary, so at each fall workshop we’ll be giving away a selection of materials. In addition, there will be two additional give-aways at the Center’s current location, 1598 S. Main St.: Nov. 13 at 3:45 p.m. for grades K-5 and Nov. 14 at 3:45 p.m. for grades 6-12. All workshops feature free registration, and certificates for recertification points as allowed by your school system. Read more about the workshops and sign up at the workshop registration page.

Students team up with Delegate Landes to win

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From left, Gabino Cruz-Hernandez and Davey Stone show Del. Landes their winning ranking on the computer, joined by teammate Joshua Varner.

Delegate Steve Landes (R-25th district) checked in at Turner Ashby High School May 14 to congratulate students who, paired with him in an investing contest, took first place statewide. The students turned $100,000 of computer money into a simulated $117,378.93 in 10 weeks.

Landes and the students took part in the spring semester “General Assembly Challenge” organized by the Virginia Council on Economic Education. The students on the winning team were Gabino Cruz-Hernandez, Davey Stone and Joshua Varner.

They competed against other General Assembly-student teams statewide, buying and selling stocks with virtual money. Winners will be recognized later this month at the statewide awards ceremony at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Delegate Landes congratulated teacher Chris Noll’s math students on their investment skills and ability to work together effectively as a team. “I have been impressed with how well you did as a team,” Landes told the students, “but the most important thing is the valuable real-world experiences you have gained.”

Noll’s team was supported locally with training and resources from the James Madison University Center for Economic Education, an affiliated center of the Virginia Council on Economic Education.

“This game is particularly engaging because students do research and then work as a team to make their investment decisions,” said Lynne Stover, teacher consultant with the JMU center. “And all along the way, it reinforces math and analytical skills, business concepts, and personal finance basics.”

“It’s great to see hard work pay off for Chris’s students,” said William C. Wood, director of the JMU center.

The Richmond-based VCEE coordinates the Stock Market GameTM in Virginia as one of several programs to promote K-12 economic and financial education and provide professional development for teachers. For more information about VCEE, visit

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Del. Landes hears Turner Ashby math teacher Chris Noll explain how students learned from studying investments and personal finance.