– November 18, 2014

Working collaboratively with Berkshire County school districts, AIER hosted nine teachers for a professional development day on November 4.

There were hands-on activities for teachers to acquire real data and work with it, including using online resources such as the Federal Reserve Economic Data web page. They covered topics like the unemployment rate, the government budget, and how to use AIER’s Everyday Price Index, which is like the Consumer Price Index but is limited to the purchases that a consumer makes most frequently.

A Monument Mountain High School teacher created an educational twist on the Everyday Price Index, developing a “Student Price Index” that allows students to decide which goods and services they would like to include. As part of the exercise, students take 10 weeks to document prices in local stores.

Participants agreed these activities will help students connect theory to the real world, including using data to better understand current events.

The event also included teachers from the Lenox, Mount Greylock and Hoosac Valley school districts, as well as St. Josephs High School. Participating teachers represented subject matters like economics, statistics, math, social studies, humanities, history, English Language Arts and calculus.

Four alumni from AIER’s 2014 summer Teach-the-Teachers Initiative were among the presenters, sharing strategies for implementing lessons.

AIER was happy to host the teachers and share our resources to help make economic concepts relevant and useful to teachers and students in our local community and beyond.