Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stock Market Game

I went to an extremely short (too short, in my opinion) workshop today on The Stock Market Game (SMG from here on out). I called my mom on my way this morning:

Me: "Remember that game we played in middle school gifted where we traded stocks and I absolutely hated it?"
Mom: "Yes, what about it?"
Me: "I'm on my way to a workshop about it because I want to use it in my classroom this year."
Mom: "You're kidding."
Me: "I suddenly see the value in it. Funny how things work like that, isn't it?"

I HATED SMG. Like, REALLY hated SMG. I can't remember if it was 7th or 8th grade, but it was the bane of my existence and it made me hate going to my gifted seminar. The only thing I do remember about it is that my mom told me to invest in Hershey and I think I quit after about two or three weeks because it was way over my head. Honestly, it is probably still way over my head because I am more than likely one of the most financially illiterate human beings on the planet. I'm hoping this will be a learning experience for all of us.

If you are not familiar, here is how it works:

Students are split into teams of 3-5. Each team gets a login and an imaginary $100,000 to invest in a portfolio. They can invest in any stocks they want, but cannot invest more than 30% in one stock because they need to diversify. They can buy, sell, and trade as often as they would like, but the goal is to make the best investments and have the most valuable portfolio. They compete amongst their classmates, regionally, at the state level, and at the national level. Winning teams are somehow rewarded in various capacities. You can participate just in the fall or spring, or you can participate for the full year from September through April.

So how am I going to use this?

I think once a week it will be the "Teacher's Choice" for math workshop. When we get to functions, we can look at stocks. When we get to systems and linear equations, we can look at stocks. When we get to scatter plots, heck we can look at stocks! All the while, I will never hear "When am I going to actually USE this!?" It will be glorious and hopefully my students will hold it in a higher regard than I did in my middle school angst.

Check it out! North Carolina lets its teachers participate for free, but other states vary. The facilitator told us that most teachers spend as little as 30-60 minutes PER WEEK on this. Really? That's absolutely doable! It would be great for a "when you finish" activity as well. You can spend as much or as little time as you want on this, and I can see the kids really getting into it if they start investing in things like American Eagle, record labels, Bojangles, etc. It's relevant to them and to the real world. I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes and keeping you all updated.


  1. Thank you. I did not know about this. I am going to check it out and see if I can do it with my students.

    Roxygirl Teacher @ Rockstar Math Teacher