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SD 163 Teacher’s Stellar Performance Recognized

Danielle Gladstone
Danielle Gladstone receives congratulations from School District 163 Board of Education President Walter Mosby for winning the 3M Illinois Star in the Classroom Award for doing an outstanding job of bringing Econ Illinois’ programs into her classroom. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- When Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163’s fifth grade honors class teacher Danielle Gladstone talks about the Stock Market Game and her students’ involvement with it, she exudes enthusiasm. This enthusiasm has obviously carried over to her students who come to her classroom before school starts to write “news flashes” about the latest financial news and are eager to begin the part of their day devoted to the stock market when they can buy and sell stocks to make their hypothetical $100,000 worth of investments grow.

Ms. Gladstone’s ability to teach her young investors about the stock market recently won her the 3M Star in the Classroom Award. She was one of five teachers in the state to receive the award during ceremonies at the Union League Club in Chicago. Later this year, Ms. Gladstone will attend a dinner at the governor’s mansion in Springfield as a result of the award. The award recognizes Illinois teachers who have done an outstanding job of bringing Econ Illinois’ programs into their classrooms to benefit students.

Ms. Gladstone has brought the Stock Market Game into her classroom for the last seven years. Last year, one of Ms. Gladstone’s teams garnered a third place ranking out of 250 elementary and high school teams in the Illinois Capitol 2012 Stock Market Game, an elite category. Two years earlier, one of the teams took first place in the competition.

“I could teach students the Stock Market Game all day long,” said Ms. Gladstone. “I love it and so do the students. It integrates reading, math, and social studies while making fifth graders very savvy about the investment world. The curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Standards and is sponsored by the Northern Illinois Economics Department. The Stock Market Game is a terrific teaching tool.”

The Stock Market Game provides an opportunity for students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in an online portfolio. Students work in teams and research stocks, decide what to buy, track the stock, and hold it or sell it based on its activity. Each team has a banker, researcher, statistician, and numbers cruncher. At least 100 shares of a stock must be purchased. The fifth graders check their online portfolios daily and keep graphs that chart their stocks’ performance.  The teams also keep a log of each stock’s purchase and sold prices.

Ms. Gladstone trained sixth grade teacher Kim Burch in the game and her students took part in the Broker Boot Camp that she conducts prior to beginning the Game. During the Boot Camp the students learn how to interpret data, find a stock and see how current events and natural disasters can affect the stock market. One of Ms. Burch’s team is doing very well in the Game, according to Ms. Gladstone.

This year, four of Ms. Gladstone’s teams are ranked among the top 32 teams out of 268 teams in their region. At least one of the teams has held a first place rank for a couple of weeks. The competition began in October and ends December 13.

“I am very pleased that the students’ interest in the stock market does not end in the classroom,” Ms. Gladstone related. “Siblings who have been in my class coach their brothers and sisters who are in my class now on possible stock picks. Another student led her family in some investment choices. The students also are comfortable contacting brokers in the area for recommendations on short term stocks that are under $20 a share. It’s a wonderful program for the students. It teaches them to be problem solvers and good analysts. These are skills that will be useful throughout school and their lives.”


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