Applied Learning: Simple Saving Strategies

Educator guides student application of simple saving strategies.
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About this Micro-credential

Apply for a micro-credential before December 22nd, 2017 for a $75 Amazon gift card!*

*Offer valid until 12/22/2017. To receive a gift card, participant must complete all portions of the micro-credential application including the optional survey. Gift cards will be awarded in the form of Amazon eGift Cards emailed to the account specified by the participant. Each participant can receive maximum one gift card. GFLEC reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time.

Key Method

The educator utilizes an applied learning strategy that enables students to develop the habit of saving.

Method Components

What is an Applied Learning Activity?

An applied learning activity is a classroom method that puts to action what has been taught. Using this method is one means of creating a student-centered and relevant learning environment.

Components of an Applied Learning Activity:

  • Application of problem-solving strategies in purposeful ways – Strategies applied should be relevant and aid students in both situations where the problem and desirable solutions are clearly evident and in situations requiring a creative approach to achieve an outcome.
  • The use of communication tools and techniques – Communication tools and techniques should be used that are needed for success in tackling the problem(s). Such tools and techniques can take many forms and be evidenced in many different ways.
  • The use of information tools and techniques – Information tools and techniques should be used that are appropriate to the purpose and audience.
  • The use of learning and self-management tools and techniques – The activity should include learning and self-management tools and techniques that analyze and evaluate information. It should use information technology, such as easily accessible online and impartial resources, to assist in collecting, analyzing, organizing, and presenting information.

Suggested Implementation:

  1. Illustrate the problem most Americans face by exhibiting national consumer savings statistics that illustrate that the majority of everyday Americans lack the savings needed to mitigate the financial challenges that accompany an emergency or unplanned expense. A follow-up classroom discussion can be facilitated by the instructor, directing students to share the consequences of inadequate savings in their adult lives.
  2. Using direct instruction, share behavior-based saving strategies that are simple to apply. These strategies should be supported by research as solving the saving problems the majority of everyday Americans face.
  3. Require students to complete the America Saves Pledge. The pledge requires students to establish a savings goal, a savings plan, and provide an email address that can be used to send timely savings reminders and resources. The pledge also includes the option of receiving text message reminders (nudges) of savings tips and advice.
  4. Upon completing the pledge, students will immediately receive an initial email that includes tools and techniques to instruct and aid in reaching their savings goals. Students with regular access to money, such as an allowance or job, can apply savings strategies right away. Students who lack access to money will also continue to receive emails, and text reminders (if they signed up). In both cases, informational emails (and text reminders) may nudge students to apply in the future, or continue to apply in the future, simple savings strategies.
  5. Collect evidence of completing the savings pledge and facilitate a writing or discussion group reflection on how developing the habit of saving now can improve their lives today and in the future.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Saving is easy to understand, but a challenging behavior to develop. Survey results illustrating the challenges with many teens:

  • “Focus Group Results Show Young Adults Know It Is Important To Save But No One Is Showing Them How.” Focus Group Results Show Young Adults Know It Is Important To Save But No One Is Showing Them How. America Saves. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.


National Consumer Savings Statistics

Supporting resources for the suggested implementation

A short overview of an educator using this teaching method

  • Kadlec, Dan. “Why Your Teens Would Share a Car But Not a Cellphone |” Business Money Why Your Teens Would Share a Car But Not a Cellphone. TIME, 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

The items in this following section detail what must be submitted for evaluation. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3, and a “Yes” for both artifacts submitted for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(300-word limit):

  • How did you initially motivate students to begin the habit of saving? At any point in the lesson or in preparing for the lesson, how did you differentiate for students who do not have regular access to money or have an email address?

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

Submit one video that demonstrates your competence with motivating students to develop the habit of saving now, and through direct instruction teaching behavior-based saving strategies that are simple to apply.

Also, please provide two student artifacts showing their engagement with the America Saves Pledge and reflections on the activity.

Part 3. Teacher Reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as guidance (300-word limit):

  • How did this method help you teach behavior-based strategies to aid in bridging the gap between students understanding the topic and applying what was learned to their daily lives?
  • Which other personal finance topics can this teaching method be used for in the classroom?

Part 4. Survey (Optional)

Please answer a brief survey about your experience teaching personal finance. Your responses will:

  • help us understand barriers personal finance teachers face;
  • and help us improve the resources being offered to personal finance educators

We appreciate your help.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


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