Economics Workshops

Just FYI! 


Please go to the Virginia Council on Economic Education’s workshop page  and search by SPONSORING CENTER (ODU) for more information and to register ONLINE for the workshop. If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Cookson at


Dragons Decide 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009   4:30pm – 6:30pm 

Virginia Beach Higher Education Center                    

Dragons Decide, a combination story and coloring book, is a wonderful tool for acquainting students with several economic concepts—scarcity, choice and decision-making, opportunity cost, saving, producers, goods and services, resources, specialization and interdependence. Each participant will receive a classroom set of books.      History/Social Science SOL K.6, K.7, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.7, 2.9, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9


Virtual Economics

Saturday, March 28, 2009   9:00am – 1:00pm

Virginia Beach Higher Education Center

A $100 value, this CD-ROM contains more than 1,200 lessons which can be searched by key words, publications, grade level (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) and Virginia SOL. An active, hands-on lesson can be printed for almost every K-12 economics SOL. Also featured is a “Browse Economics Concepts” menu option which allows teachers and students to brush up or learn for the first time about 51 economic terms by viewing an overview, multimedia presentation, teaching tips, and lesson suggestions. This CD-ROM is a “must have” for every teacher who is required to teach any strand of economics and neatly condenses 79 publications into one small space. Workshop participants will be taught the basic, absolutely essential economics foundation on which to build all required economics SOL instruction. They will also have plenty of time to explore the CD-ROM and discover ready-to-use lessons appropriate for their grade levels.


Financial Fitness for Life: Pocket Power K – 3     

Tuesday, June 30, 2009   9:00am – 3:00pm 

Virginia Beach Higher Education Center          

Financial Fitness for Life is an innovative curriculum that is helping students become skilled consumers, savers, and investors.  Pocket Power is designed to provide K – 3 teachers hands-on, cross-curricular activities based on spending, saving, borrowing, and money management. Each participant will receive a free copy of the appropriate curriculum materials and lunch is provided. History/Social Science SOL K.7, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.8, 2.9, 3.8, 3.9.



Please go to the Virginia Council on Economic Education’s workshop page  and search by SPONSORING CENTER (ODU) for more information and to register ONLINE for the workshop. If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Cookson at

Montpelier After Hours

We got started a little earlier today, so I didn’t get up and wander around the grounds like I did yesterday morning.  We recevied a “We the People” textbook, and then had a couple of lectures before lunch.  After lunch (and a discussion period) we went on the archaeology tour, which I have been looking forward to.  One of the Montpelier archaeologists took us around to several sites and explained what they discovered, how they’re using the information to interpret, and a little bit about the process.  They were no active excavations going on (which I really was hoping to see) but it was interesting nonetheless.  They even have a weeklong program where you can come work on an active excavation.  I’m looking into that. 

We had another lecture/discussion after the tour, then early this evening a wine and cheese reception before dinner.  Dinner was delicious, and we ate out on the patio to enjoy the nice weather.  A few of us wandered up to the house after dinner to take a look around.  I was hoping to get some nice shots of the house and garden temple, but I don’t know how to work my camera well enough.  It was a great experience though.  We checked out the garden temple, then sat on the steps of Montepelier and talked.  A few more from the group joined us, and we decided to walk over to the Madison family cemetary.  We looked around there for a bit, then headed back to the steps.  It was very pretty with the nearly full moon over the house. 

One thing that is driving me crazy (and I’m not the only one) is th cold storage under the garden temple.  You can see part of the door (it’s been bricked up) but it’s there.  But there is no excavation going on there, and from what it sounded like, no plans in the near future to do so.  I’m sure there are tons of interesting things down there, and no one’s touched it?!?  I’m sure excavation is being done in a very systematic way, and I believe our tour guide told us there were only 5 or 6 archaeologists employed here, but this just seems like it would be a top priority.  It really does drive me crazy though.  I want to know what’s down there. 

Tomorrow is our last day, we’re finished at 2pm.  We have a horticulture tour in the morning, one more lecture, evaluations, etc.  Malinda and I plan to hit the gift shop before we leave and then head back home.  Tonight was a great night though, I just wish I knew how to work my camera.

The House Tour

Today was our first full day at Montpelier.  I got up early to walk around the grounds a bit before breakfast.  It was very nice, I could easily spend an entire day wandering around the 2700 acres.  I took a few pictures this morning, which was easy considering there were no tourists or anyone else around to get in the shot. 

We had a couple of lectures today, but the highlight was the tour of the house itself.  I didn’t realize the house was still in the process of restoration.  The National Trust (I may have that wrong) didn’t even acquire the house until 1984.  Then they had to research to discover what it was like during Madison’s time, do some deconstruction, and they’re still working.  The estate is still a working farm, they have retired race horses here. 

My favorite spot is Madison’s Garden Temple.  It’s very pretty, but also very practical.  There is a cold storage underneath the temple. 

Malinda and I also made it out to the Madison family graveyard today, as well as the slave cemetary.  The slave cemetary is not well marked, and only has around 30 graves in it.  They believe that the other unmarked cemetaries they found around the grounds are other slave cemetaries. 

I did find out today that the ladybug problem is not just in my room.  Several people have dozens of ladybugs in their room.  During the house tour today, in several windows in the  mansion, there were dozens of lady bugs.  I’m trying to be careful, but they are everywhere. 

Tomorrow I’m very much looking forward to the archaeology tour.  There are several spots that are being excavated now.  I would love to work on something like that.   They’re also going over the class set of textbooks that we’ll be receiving tomorrow.  I hope Malinda has enough room in her car to get all of this stuff back home! 

James Madison’s Garden Temple (and cold storage.)

Tastee Freeze and Montpelier BBQ Night

Malinda (6th grade at Churchland Elementary) and I were selected to attend a weekend seminar at James Madison’s Montepelier, in Orange, VA.  This weekend we are focusing on the founding of the Constitution. 

The drive up was pretty uneventful, although we got quite hungry.  This of course occurred after we had passed any halfway decent place to grab food.  We finally happened upon a Tastee Freeze and that had to do.  (I had a hot fudge cake, Malinda actually ate lunch.)  The Tastee Freeze in itself was an experience, it wasn’t a culture shock exactly, but we are definitely out in the country.

After Tastee Freeze, we headed down the curviest road I’ve ever been on, and eventually made it to Montpelier.  I’ve never been here, Malinda has been several times.  We had to check in, then they showed us to our houses.  (Everyone is staying in Constitutional Village, which is made up of 4 or 5 restored farmhouses.)  The view from our front porch is quite pretty. 

The houses have full kitchens (they provide snacks) and nice living rooms.  All of the furniture is pointed at a wall, there are no televisions.  Some of us have to share rooms (I do, but we also have a private bath, which is nice.)  I’m not sure if it’s just our room, or if it’s all of them, but ours has quite a collection of lady bugs on the ceiling.  I’m afraid I may swallow several of them in my sleep. 

Dinner (as well as lectures and all meals) was held at Lewis Hall, down the road from the houses.  Dinner tonight was BBQ.  Four different types of BBQ.  I’m not a big fan of BBQ, but I did alright.  (I did manage to restrain myself from getting dessert, since I had that hot fudge cake already today.  And I’m not running this weekend at all.  Didn’t even bring my shoes in fact.)   We met a couple of people from Hampton at dinner, as well as a gentleman from Raleigh. 

After dinner we had our introduction/opening lecture.  I had quite a hard time paying attention, as I think most people did.  We were all tired from working, then driving.  I did jot down some notes, but it was difficult. 

There was a group that went up to the mansion tonight, I wanted to but I think I’ll go tomorrow evening instead.  I didn’t bring my camera to dinner, and I’m rather tired, but before bed I have to do quite a bit of reading to prepare for tomorrow.  So several people asked if the guy in charge would take a group tomorrow night as well, to which he agreed.  I am excited to see the mansion after hours.  (Although I don’t think this means the inside of the mansion after hours, just the grounds around the mansion.) 

Now I’m going to read and hope I don’t swallow any bugs in my sleep. 





Our room!                                                                                                         Our living room, sans TV.

New Resources

I’ve added several new resources to the blog (thanks to Sarah.)  Under the VA Studies page, you’ll now find a powerpoint for VS.8.  For third grade, you’ll find a review section at the very bottom of the page with review cards for grades K-2, as well as a Repair History activity and a question and answer bank.  The K-2 review cards are also listed under the appropriate grade level on the K-2 page.