Sunday, 14 April 2013

Investing in the Stock Market - Middle School Math Project

This year I finally went for it and jumped into the stock market.  I know nothing about the stock market and so I told my students I wanted to learn.  We made a project out of it and after consulting friends about how to start we went for the competitve option.  The students had no idea about investing or business so we started by bringing in a guest speaker who talked about what people think about when they are going to invest.  The speaker was actually just a parent of a student in the class and she gave some excellent background information.

At the time we were also learning about integers and graphing and took some time with the students who already had demonstrated that they understood those concepts and brought them to the computer lab to begin researching websites, key terms and tips on how to invest.  They basically became the investment "experts" in our class.  After the others completed their math work on integers we had all the students enter the computer lab and paired them up with the experts.  Students then began teaching students on how to invest.  It was a very good starting point.

I had all the students join onto www.howthemarketworks.com which allowed them to not have to give away personal information.  They all practiced how to buy stocks and about the rise and fall of the market. 

Through the website I started a contest for the class where they got $10,000 and could invest it however then wanted with the restrictions of the contest and my own criteria where must have bought stocks in at least 3 different companies. 

And it was on!  Students were checking there stocks constantly, at nutrition break and lunch times you could hear students talking about their investments.  We continued going to the computer lab to do more research and students were eager to see how they could make more money.  I included at $5 dollar transaction fee and the students were angry with me because they thought it unfair but I told them that we are trying to make it as real as we could.  Some students held onto investments while others became  day traders and were constantly updating their account.  It was pretty cool to watch students so eager.  Some of the students were quite funny in that they were refreshing their portfolio every couple of minutes for the update of their account. 

The students learned about graphing, net gain and loss, percent gain and loss, and how hard it is to make money on the stock market.  Some students learned that you have to spend money to make it as they had $10,000 but only spent a small portion of it and couldn't keep up with the others.  Some spent all the money on some big name companies while others threw darts.  It was very interesting but in the end the one who did the most research actually made the most by investing in companies that were trending up as well as short selling stocks too.  In a month she made over $1500 which was pretty impressive.

Here is the criteria I gave them, please post comments on how it worked for you or if you changed what I did.  I would love to know. 

If you want to just download the criteria sheets I made go here:  Market Research


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Investing Criteria

 

Name: ______________________

 

You are studying the stock market and will become an investor.  Your goal will be to use $10,000 dollars to invest in the companies of your choice.  You will have to do some research on your companies so that you know what you are investing in.   We will be using www. howthemarketworks.com where there will be a contest setup for the MACC classes.  Invest wisely and see if you can strike it rich with your $10,000.

 

You will need the following in your investigation

 

·         A line graph based on the stocks you have invested in.   You will need to follow all the rules of line graphs and add data to your graph twice a week.  This graph must be drawn by hand.

·         A list of all the companies that you have invested in.  You will information about what the company does and why you decided to invest in it.  Please think of the reasons and fully support them.

·          Calculate the percent growth or the loss of your investment.

·         Create a Circle graph of your Portfolio.

·         You will also need to investigate the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ and explain their purpose and what purpose they serve.

·         Research other areas of investing such as real estate or rental properties and compare it to investing in stocks.

·         Summary of what went well and what did not go well.  What was your strategy when investing and what you would change if you were given another $10,000.  What did you learn during the Investment project.