Ruliffson wins national award

Allen Ruliffson addresses a national audience of economic educators in St. Petersburg.
Allen Ruliffson addresses a national audience of economic educators in St. Petersburg.

Allen J. Ruliffson, who teaches seventh grade social studies at J. Frank Hillyard Middle School, has received the highest award given for middle school teaching of economic content by the Council for Economic Education.

Ruliffson was named the 2015 winner of the Council’s middle school John Morton Excellence in the Teaching of Economics Award.

Ruliffson, a past winner of local and state competitions, was encouraged to enter the competition by Lynne F. Stover of the James Madison University Center for Economic Education. “Allen has consistently done excellent work that makes economics real for the middle school population,” Stover said.

“This recognition reflects that teacher excellence makes a difference, and your project exemplifies the importance of economic and financial education as critical to students’ future success,” said Council Vice President Gwen Pajotte in notifying Ruliffson of his winning entry.

In support of his application, Ruliffson submitted material on career accomplishments in economic education, along with a local award-winning lesson plan, “Barracuda Barrel,” that used a “Shark Tank”-like competition among students to teach economic history.

Ruliffson was recognized in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the October meeting of the Council for Economic Education and the National Association of Economic Educators.

The award includes a $1000 check and the trip to St. Petersburg, where Ruliffson shared best practices with colleagues in a session coordinated by the Council.

The awards criteria call for nominees to “exhibit innovative approaches to economic and financial education using multiple teaching approaches.” “Allen’s work does all that and more,” Stover said.

Ruliffson’s previous prize-winning work included lesson plans and entire economics units that combined in-class instruction, field trips and technology projects. One entry took a traditional year-end field trip to Hershey Park and turned it into a multi-disciplinary learning project.

Ruliffson’s previous work has included solo projects and team projects. “Barracuda Barrel” was done jointly with Hillyard teacher Kim Fawley and technology resource teacher Alice Blair.

“Allen’s work shows how much seventh graders can learn when sound economics is combined with excellent presentation,” said Jerry Scripture, board chair of Shenandoah Valley Economic Education Inc. SVEE provides funding for a comprehensive economic education program locally.

Stover is NAEE winner

BronzeNAEEbadgeJMU’s Lynne Stover has won an award from the National Association of Economic Educators for her economics lesson on labor leader Cesar Chavez. The lesson, published by LibrarySparks,  is titled “Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez.” The national bronze award was presented to Stover at NAEE’s 2015 national meeting.

Stover lesson on The Giver published

A lesson by JMU’s Lynne Stover based on the award-winning young adult book The Giver has been published by the Council for Economic Education on the council’s national resource site, Stover’s lesson, “Jonas Makes a Choice,” guides students through benefits, costs and decision-making using The Giver as a common point of references for students and the teacher. The lesson includes an assessment activity and multiple extensions. (Students will be familiar with The Giver because of its recent release as a full-length movie starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.)

Here’s that link again: The Giver lesson

and here’s a link to all of Stover’s work on econedlink: Stover lessons

The summer institute story

Here’s a video that tells the story of a Summer Institute in Economics at JMU. It was great preparation for the new required high school class in economics and personal finance:

Stock Market Game winners honored

UntitledHere’s the Stock Market Game team from Wilson Elementary in Fishersville, posing at the state awards ceremony in Richmond. These four students won the elementary division of the fall 2013 game. The students were advised by Linda Bowers, librarian at Wilson. The students started with a hypothetical $100,000 and parlayed it into $108,388 in 10 weeks. All regional winners of the Stock Market Game are to be recognized at a reception at James Madison University on May 15. The JMU Center for Economic Education provides training and support for area teachers. Competition is conducted statewide by the Virginia Council on Economic Education.

Stover lesson published in SSRP

eraseA lesson by JMU’s Lynne Stover has been published by the peer-reviewed journal, Social Studies Research and Practice. The lesson, now available online, helps students understand the content of Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad. In this Civil War-era story, a farm girl in the South discovers a runaway slave and faces important choices about what to do next. This lesson is one in a series by the journal based on Notable Trade Books designated by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Stover lesson published

JMU’s Lynne Stover has authored a lesson on Booker T. Washington, who was born a slave in Virginia but rose to a distinguished career in higher education. The lesson, recently published on the Council for Economic Education’s national website econedlink, draws out economic content in the picture book Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim. Stover’s lesson includes content, activities, and links to additional resource materials. Here again is a link to the lesson:

and here is a link to all of Stover’s currently available lessons on