Monday, August 31, 2009

Jason Welker's Blog

Mr. Welker's blog is a valuable resource for the AP teacher. You will find worksheets, videos, and intelligent discussion here.
Sunday, August 30, 2009

Virtual Economics--A Testimonial

"Listen to Barry Thomas, a teacher from Omaha North High School, as he talks about how he uses the Virtual Economics..." This is quoted from the video information describing the video. What I especially found interesting was that Mr. Thomas can teach economics to Nebraska state standards without a textbook. For those of you finding that schools are not replacing textbooks or going to classroom sets, this CD-ROM just might be a life saver.

Guided Tour of Virtual Economics

In this six minute YouTube video, you will be taken on a guided tour of Virtual Economics. This CD-ROM contains over 600 time-tested and ready to use lesson plans for immediate use.
Saturday, August 29, 2009


The Council for Economic Education maintainsa data base with lessons to use in your classes. Click here to access over 600 lessons on every topic on economics and personal finance. On the home page, click on the lesson tab. You can search for a lesson by concept. In this video, I am searching for a lesson on unemployment. Some of my favorite lessons use data to support theory. You can become an EconEdLink author too.
Thursday, August 27, 2009

What to do the first week of class

The first week of school, I introduce fundamental concepts that are outlined below. Throughout the semester, I constantly use the vocabulary so that the vocabulary and the concepts become a common language. I know many other teachers like to break the ice with their classes, but doing a class activity. In Iowa, we will experience school closings for ice and sub-zero temperatures so I dive right into content. This blog was meant to help new teacher organize their first week.

I. Define economics, opportunity cost, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics
II. Discuss positive and normative economics and give an example
III. Production Possibilities Curve or Frontier (12%)
A. Constant Cost
1. Straight Line
2. If the opportunity cost is "1", resources are perfectly substitutable
3. Different Slopes can still be a constant cost curve
4. Relative Cost is measured on PPF
B. Increasing Cost- Concave Efficiency
1. Attainable, but Inefficient Unattainable
2. Bowed out or concave
IV. Trading Possibilities Curve
A. Teaches the gains from trade
B. Shows the productivity gains of specialization
C. Compute the comparative advantage
D. Discuss absolute advantage
E. Complete and example
V. Quiz

AP Economics Teacher's Guide

Peggy Pride has written a teacher's guide with tips for organization, sample syllabi for both micro and macro, and more at the AP Central website.
Ms. Pride also has an article, "Nominal or Real? Understanding Interest Rates in AP Macroeconomics " that explains the loanable funds market.
Students will study hard in your class if you are excited about your content. Resources such as the Teacher's Guide provide the content so you can plan how you will deliver exciting lesson plans that align your content with the College Board objectives.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Virtual Economics on CD-ROM

Virtual Economics contains over 1,200 lesson plans including the Morton activities.
In a famous remark, Nobel laureate Robert Solow, declared that information technology could be seen everywhere except in the statistics. This is because when new technology is introduced, it is used in old ways. With Virtual Economics you can use information technology as it was meant to be used. With this CD-ROM you can select the lesson you want and send it directly to the printer. In some schools, you can send the lesson with necessary worksheets as an email attachment to the workroom in an email with the required copies. Then pick up the copies later. I also can send homework home to students who are absent. In my law class last year, I ran off lessons on insurance that would have taken me weeks to write. If you are a busy teacher, this software will save you planning and copying time so you can devote your time to teaching.
Check out the contents of the CD-ROM here. If you are not a Global Association of Teachers of Economics, GATE, member, register at the time of checkout and receive a discount.
Sunday, August 23, 2009

DC Corner

Check the "Classroom Instruction and Resources" on the AP Central website. Find DC Corner and click on Important Notes from the Test Development Committee. There you will find information on the Balance of Payments accounts and Nash Equilibrium.

Before 1999, the Capital Account included "net capital flows" Now those flows are recorded in the "Financial Account" of the Balance of Payments. The Capital Account will be used to record debt forgiveness and unilateral transfers of assets between countries.

The test developers wanted teachers to know that the dominate strategy does not have to coincide with the Nash Equilibrium. The Morton activities and the Princeton Review covers this topic well.

Make sure you register for the electronic discussion groups on the AP Central website.
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Your AP Economics Course: Begin With The End in Mind

Summary: Whether you teach AP Microeconomics or AP Macroeconomics, the CollegeBoard's "Acorn Book" (PDF) gives you a map to AP Economics success.

The "Acorn Book" (PDF) provides the details for syllabus and lesson plan construction. If you want your students to be successful on the AP Economics exam, you'll plan your lessons around this content.

The "Acorn Book" (PDF) provides a course outline with the percent each topic will be tested. For AP Microeconomics, pages 10 and 11; for AP Macroeconomics, pages 26, 27, and 28.

(Note: If you are reading the "Acorn Book" in a pdf file, Microeconomics is on pages 16 and 17; Macroeconomics, pages 32, 33, and 34.)

What Should You Teach In An AP Economics Course?

Often times, new AP Economics teachers wonder what to teach.

The first place to start is what will be tested. The contents of the tests, along with the relative weights of each concept, can be found in the course description.

What are your tips for planning and delivering a successful AP Economics course? Let us know in the comments below.

Good luck and I wish for success for all during the 2009-2010 school year.

About the Author: Mike Fladlien is an AP Economics teacher from Muscatine High School in Muscatine, IA. He is an author, and also publishes the Mikeroeconomics and iMacroeconomics VB blogs.