OSWEGO, NY – It isnâ€™t often that first grade students sit in on Oswego High School-Syracuse University Macroeconomics.
However, first graders in Terri Cullen-Stacyâ€™s Charles E. Riley Elementary School classroom have spent several weeks in this type of educational climate.
A cooperative arrangement between Oswego High School teacher Ed Stacy and his wife brought secondary students to the eastside Oswego elementary building.
She noted, â€œThe first graders learn about economics through childrenâ€™s literature, games and treats. They not only learn about wants and needs and good and services, but can also define terms such as â€˜scarcityâ€™ and â€˜opportunity costâ€™ on a daily basis.â€
Continuing she said, â€œThe first graders look forward to the Oswego High School students coming to Riley and working with them. They are enthusiastic and eager the share the meaning of economics and how it relates to their everyday lives.â€
This has been a long-standing cooperative venture.
In 2000-01 the New York State Education Department mandated that all students, kindergarten through 12th grade, should learn a basic understanding of economics, culminating with the 12th grade course that seniors must pass in order to graduate.
Ed Stacy said, â€œTerri and I decided to develop an activity incorporating the Syracuse University economics students at OHS in an instructional capacity. Since they need to fulfill â€˜Participation in Governmentâ€™ requirements, such as attending public meetings, we felt that this voluntary activity would provide a good public service to our younger students.â€
In the spring of 2001, the first group visited Riley Elementary School, and the activity has proven to be very successful.
Ed explained the process of preparation.
He said, â€œTerri and I created a set of guidelines for developing a lesson plan. I provided my students with criteria for writing a term paper about the process and the experience. Every year, partnerships of two students create and submit lesson pans to me, after we spend two or three classes doing research in the Media Center.â€
Continuing he said, â€œThe students align their lesson plans with New York Learns and OCSD social studies standards. We grade the plans for economics accuracy and age appropriateness. Terri devises a schedule and OHS students to go Riley after they finish their day at OHS in order to teach their lessons to kindergarten or first grade classes. The partners then write a term paper about the experience and the importance of learning economics at all ages.â€
The high school teacher receives feed back from the elementary faculty members to summarize the accomplishments of the older students.
Ed noted, â€œMy students put a great deal of work into preparing activities to share with the Riley kids and they find it fun and rewarding.â€