Is Your 5th Grader Smarter than a 5th Grader ... Financially speaking?

Money School Canada What Kid$ Know About Money™ Financial Literacy Assessment Results, Grade 4 - 6 Students
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Money School Canada - What Kid$ Know Results, Grade 4 - 6
Money School Canada - What Kid$ Know Results, Grade 4 - 6
TORONTO - Sept. 5, 2014 - PRLog -- Understanding where kids are in terms of their existing skills and knowledge is an excellent place to start any educational effort and teaching financial literacy is no exception. The majority of Grade 4 - 6 students, usually between 9 and 11 years old at this grade level, are well aware of the difference between a need and a want, that you should read things before you sign them and they can define a long-term savings goal. From a money management standpoint knowing the difference between a need and a want is only valuable if this information can be applied when setting spending priorities. This is one area where parents can help.

Another area where parents can make a big impact on a child’s financial literacy learning journey is by sharing information about bank interest [the fee that is charged or paid for the use of money]. Explaining how interest works in kid-friendly terms can be a challenge. "In our Moneyi$t in the School™ junior school workshops we draw parallels between rent and interest to explain the concept," says Tricia Barry, Executive Director of Money School Canada. "Rent is money you pay to someone for using something that is not yours like a house, a snow blower, a video game or a movie. Interest is money [a fee] that is paid for using money that is not yours to buy something like a house or a car. We teach that interest can both be paid TO you and it can be paid BY you, and we use custom made props as visual teaching aids to bring this learning home."

Opening a savings account is an excellent learning experience for kids and, if they have money in the account, a little bit of interest will usually be paid. In Canada you can open a bank account without putting any money in it. Having a few dollars on deposit at a bank is a great learning/ teaching tool, however the visit to the bank, the interaction with their staff and simply opening the account also has educational benefit for young people. Parents should check with their bank to see what account opening documents are required prior to the visit.

As parents, teachers, and students get back into the routines and schedules of the school year, the focus on education and whole-child development sharpens. Assessing a child's financial literacy knowledge is a valuable pre-cursor to developing meaningful at-home money lessons that are founded in new learning.

“Facilitating financial literacy workshops, which have been attended by thousands of students, has taught me that if the content is interesting, the language is kid-friendly and the instructional strategies are diverse, interactive, and experiential, the student engagement factor will skyrocket. Skits, real-life re-enactments and hands-on activities work well in the classroom and have the greatest impact. Students consistently give our programs top marks in terms of satisfaction and our achievements in terms of student learning outcomes confirms that we are making a real difference. If the class is bored, students see the instructor as a 'talking head' or the material is too basic for the grade level, they will tune out completely,” says Tricia Barry, Executive Director of Money School Canada. “A great first step for parents interested in teaching kids about money is to assess what they already know.“

The Money School Canada What Kid$ Know About Money™  financial literacy assessment results provide parents of junior school students with quantitative information that can help them to figure out where money lessons for their child should start. “We are happy to share our findings in support of Canada’s national financial literacy educational agenda,” adds Ms. Barry. “Not only do these results provide directional guidance to parents interested in teaching money lessons at home they provide valuable insights that can be used by financial literacy program designers, curriculum developers and teachers to help zero in on the areas where money management educational efforts might have the most impact”.

Teaching financial literacy in classrooms is not mandated in the Ontario curriculum. Many educators integrate money management aspects into lesson plans although there are no uniform or comparable measures of student knowledge or their ability to apply it to real life situations.  Ms. Barry adds, “The Money School Canada knowledge benchmarking assessment results, in terms of money management vocabulary and concepts, can vary wildly between grades. It is not uncommon for a student in Grade 4 to do far better than a student in Grade 8 on an identical question set. Without a continuum of learning to rely on, such as the progression that is built in to curriculum-based subjects, it is not surprising that the question of where to start is so top of mind with parents.”

Why not have your son or daughter give the embedded Money School Canada financial literacy assessment a try?

The Money School Canada What Kid$ Know About Money™ assessment questions for junior school students and the results achieved by more than 1,000 young people give parents an important tool to help assess where they can start the money management learning journey for their child. The average score achieved by the students who participated in the pre-workshop financial literacy knowledge assessment activity was 55% or 11 questions answered correctly out of a possible 20. After participation in a half-day Moneyi$t in the School™ workshop these same students achieved an average assessment score of 85% - a 30% improvement after just 3 hours of in-class instruction.


Money School Canada, established in 2009, offers customized, in-class financial literacy workshops to students in Grade 4 – 11. Thousands of students have enjoyed a comprehensive introduction to money management essentials, delivered right in the classroom, by professional financial literacy educators. Money School Canada workshop facilitators are passionate and draw on rich, hands-on experience, gained through years working in financial services, to dispel student money myths on-the-spot and to answer questions fully and accurately. Money School Canada’s financial literacy workshops offer a truly superior financial literacy learning experience for students. Face-to-face, right in the classroom, where students want and expect to learn.

Financial literacy workshops are tailored to junior, middle, and high school classes. On average, class financial literacy assessment scores increase significantly over a lively, interactive half-day session. Money Mentor$ Workshops for parents and Transitioning to Independence Workshops for Children's Aid Society youth transitioning out of care are also available.

Students love the workshop which introduces them to the essentials of Financial Goal Setting & Savings, Budgeting, Interest, What Banks Do [and how they make money], and Borrowing & Credit. Classroom teachers consistently assign top marks and all indicated they felt more comfortable teaching financial literacy to their students after Money School Canada visited. All teachers indicated they would recommend the Money School Canada program to colleagues. Workshops are endorsed by the TDSB Financial Literacy Steering Committee.


Money School Canada conducted a 20 question financial literacy assessment survey with 1,129 children in Grades 4 – 6 classrooms across the GTA as part of a knowledge benchmarking exercise for students participating in Moneyi$t in the School™ financial literacy workshops. The assessment survey, content and methodology, has been reviewed by international financial literacy experts.

Students were provided with a series of plain language, money-related statements centered in basic money management vocabulary and concepts. A multiple choice format was used where students were asked to select from four possible responses including: 1] True, 2] False, 3] Not Sure and 4] New Word. The expanded suite of possible answers, beyond simply True or False, ensures a higher integrity in the results as guessing is reduced [a 50/50 chance of a correct answer] and, with the option to indicate if a certain word is new to the respondent – “I don’t understand the statement therefore I can’t answer”, there is greater assurance that the student’s financial literacy is being measured rather than their proficiency with the English language. The addition of a ‘New Word’ answer option is a critical aspect in this type of financial literacy knowledge assessment, particularly in cases where there is a higher concentration of ESL students, such as in the GTA. Percentage correct data reflects those students who chose the correct answer – all other answers were considered incorrect. The financial literacy assessment for Grade 4 – 6 students was completed over a 30-month timeframe between December 2011 and June 2014.


Tricia Barry, Executive Director, Money School Canada


Phone:   416-932-1300/ Cell:        416-804-9110

Video: Money School Canada Students on Financial Literacy:

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Tags:Financial Literacy, Money, Youth, Workshop, Get Smarter About Money, Kids And Money, Education, Students
Industry:Education, Family, Financial
Location:Toronto - Ontario - Canada
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Page Updated Last on: Sep 05, 2014

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