How to Embed Financial Literacy into your Middle School Career Lessons | EVERFI (2024)


Carrie Farrell

Are you new to EVERFI or just curious how to prepare for your Career Technology Education Classes? Whether you are new to the education field, new to your role of Career Lesson planning, or want to learn more about EVERFI’s free community resources, this short overview will help get you started. Embedding financial literacy in middle school career lessons is important because this is when children’s financial habits, norms, and attitudes begin to develop. EVERFI’s research shows that teaching healthy money habits at this age can have lasting effects, setting them up for a lifetime of financial success. I will share turn-key ideas on embedding financial literacy into your career lesson plans in this blog because when teachers are given time to share collective efficacy, we build a culture that thrives and supports each other, improving instruction and increasing student learning.

Why Financial Literacy is Crucial in Middle School

Middle school marks a transformative phase in a student’s life. Not only are they undergoing personal and academic changes, but their perception of money and its value also starts taking shape. Thus, introducing financial literacy during these pivotal years can shape their future financial decisions. Let’s delve into how EVERFI can assist in this journey.

A Typical EVERFI Lesson Structure From Warm-Up to Wrap-Up

As professionals, we follow best practices and teach bell-to-bell in our classrooms. Teachers build lesson plans that follow research-based practices with a gradual release or inquiry model. Our classrooms typically begin with a warm-up, a direct teaching model, then I do-, We do-, You do-, and then we close our class with a wrap-up on the daily/weekly lesson objectives. One of the best practices of EVERFI is they have the lesson plans created for you with the standards and objectives ready to use.

Each lesson can be modified to fit the needs of your learners and school. The lessons have options such as prepared slides of information with Pear Deck and activities made specifically for the age group. The information is bite-sized and chunked to help scaffold information that learners may not understand clearly. EVERFI’s student-centered activities, digital lessons, and engaging hands-on extension lessons are free to the teacher and the school because EVERFI networks with partners to have the lessons at no cost for us.

Setting Up A User-Friendly Experience for Teachers with EVERFI

Setting up a profile and creating a Dashboard of courses for your middle school learners is easy. There are over thirty lessons that use employable, critical skills for career lessons from the catalog that are accessible for each student. Time is not an issue with locating, setting up, and organizing EVERFI’s hub of resources to plan your financial literacy lessons for career technology education.

Teachers can use EVERFI’s courses and create unit planning in a year-at-a-glance, weaving in the standards based on the school or district’s career and college readiness goals. Students can access the course using a passcode or use Clever or ClassLink and click on the EVERFI app to log on to their digital classroom and online lesson.

Using Real-Time Data to Enhance Student Learning

EVERFI not only assists with lesson planning and daily objectives but also with collecting data in real time. When I was following a 6-week unit using EVERFI’s courses focusing on financial literacy in middle school, I could use the scores from the digital lessons as my daily grades and the hands-on project learning activities as major grades. It is up to the Teacher’s discretion on how to record the scores as grades in the gradebook.

The digital lessons are graded in real time, and rubrics are pre-made to go alongside the hands-on activities. During my classroom monitoring pathway, as I did laps around the room, the data would be a way to drive instruction for students who completed the objective successfully or who needed a small group reteaching opportunity. This age group needs encouragement or immediate feedback from their learning tasks, and EVERFI builds a platform to make it easy for the student with keeping the educator in mind. As students complete online lessons, data-driven instruction is a game changer to assist teachers with closing gaps in student learning and more importantly helping the learner understand skills like financial values, budgeting, opportunity costs, saving and investing, and risk versus return.

Integrating EVERFI Lessons into Your Curriculum

So you may be wondering, how do I embed the lessons into my curriculum? Suppose your students begin a Financial Literacy Unit in the course Future Smart then the course Vault – Financial Literacy for Kids. In that case, Future Smart builds a real-life scenario in which the learner is the mayor of the city, names the city, and then the student applies the rigor and relevance of the content and skills of the digital lessons to life in the community.

They are asked questions about Smart Shopping, Ways to Pay, Investing in You, Growing a Business, Your Financial Future, and My Blueprint. Each lesson objective and digital task guides students through question prompts that apply to life. Learners are engaged, and have a sense of personal responsibility for their learning. (UPDATE: As of March 2024, FutureSmart has been independently validated to meet ESSA Level III evidence, which demonstrates that usage of the digital course shows a positive, statistically significant relationship with students’ financial knowledge, self-efficacy, and behaviors).

Engaging Students with Interactive Financial Literacy Games

Another course is Vault: Understanding Money (Financial Literacy for Kids) which leverages interactive, game-like learning focusing on real-life financial scenarios, skill building, and responsible decision-making. Generation Z and Alpha love technology when it is connected to the world around them, so they need and want to learn the skill. Using the Future Smart or Vault – Financial Literacy for Kids courses, I typically would begin class with a writing prompt as a warm-up to introduce the daily objectives.

The question stem would be connected to the learning goals from EVERFI’s lessons, we would discuss the skills as a whole group, and then students would work on the digital lessons as pair-share option or independently, as I checked for students’ understanding. Wrap-ups or exit tickets that show what the student learned in the lesson that class period is typically how the teacher ends class, and the lesson plan that was created for the teacher.

The Impact of EVERFI’s Financial Literacy Courses on Student Learning

EVERFI’s lessons are top-notch and have research-based content, and the digital lessons and hands-on instruction positively affect student learning. EVERFI’s courses give students a sense of achievement, improve instruction, and increase student’s understanding of financial literacy. Not only do students get the reward of learning finance but they can also complete a course and get the chance to win a 529 College Savings Scholarship. Visit to learn more about EVERFI’s resources or click catalog on your dashboard.


How to Embed Financial Literacy into your Middle School Career Lessons | EVERFI (1)

This school year celebrates my 10th year of working in education. I serve as a Multisensory Teaching Approach (MTA) Dyslexia Educator at Robinson Junior High at Robinson ISD in central Texas. MTA is a comprehensive, integrated language arts program addressing reading decoding and comprehension, spelling and composition, cursive handwriting, and alphabet and dictionary skills. I am certified in EC-12 Pedagogy and Career Technology as a Business Educator. I have nine years of professional experience in CTE at the secondary level teaching over 25 subject preps and sponsoring 14 clubs and programs. In 2022-2023, at Robinson Junior High, I began serving as the campus coordinator for Intervention and the MTSS Campus Facilitator for academic and behavior strategies for students. Since 2019, I serve as the Teacher Leader for CTE & Electives, and a Teacher Mentor for new Teachers..

I hold a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Communication. In 2010 I became a Certified Teacher, and in 2020, I enrolled in Region 12: Education Service Center’s courses for the Principal Preparation & Certification Program. I am a certified Texas T-Tess Appraiser and completed the Performance Assessment for School Leaders Exam in 2021.

I have 17 years of professional experience in business management, insurance, the medical industry, and clinical psychology that bring real-world skills into the classroom.

How to Embed Financial Literacy into your Middle School Career Lessons | EVERFI (2024)
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