P.O. Box 3447
Little Rock, AR 72203

2023 REAL Conference Session Descriptions


  • "Cash" in the Classroom

    Presenter: Penny Toombs
    Arkansas State University
    Audience: K-12

    This fun session will include how to incorporate Johnny Cash in your classroom! Lessons for all ages will be covered, including how to use our Heritage Sites (Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, and Lakeport Plantation) in your classroom. Academic areas include economics, history, creative writing, fine arts and more! All grade levels are invited to attend.

  • A Lesson in Major Purchases for High School Students

    Presenter: Johnny Caststeel
    Master Economics Teacher, Mountain Home
    Audience: 9-12

    This is a lesson I do in class every semester that covers the process of buying homes and automobiles. This lesson teaches the Dos and Don'ts of the buying process for major purchases, such as time frame, standing in life, wants and needs some common terminology (amortization schedule, PMI, opportunity cost) to equip students with the knowledge and confidence when making major financial decisions in life.

  • Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Economics Classroom

    Presenter: Michele Jackson
    Master Economics Teacher, Siloam Springs
    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    Research has shown that students learn more when they participate in the process of learning. The more we can activate students’ brains in different ways, the more they learn. This means that engaging as many sensory, cognitive, emotional, and social processes in students will increase their learning potential. This fun and interactive session will provide you with several simple Active Learning strategies to engage your students as they learn economic concepts.

  • Addressing the Teacher Shortage with Hybrid Learning

    Presenter: Fred Fransen
    Certell, Inc.
    Audience: 9-12

    Economics requires the most specific technical training of all social studies subjects. All too often, however, social studies departments lack sufficient subject matter expertise to teach economics well. Certell, inc., through its Poptentialâ„¢ curriculum, offers teachers free curriculum proven to make difficult concepts relatable to their students. We are proposing to take this model to a new level, providing schools with subject matter experts who can help give students a strong foundation in economic ideas.

  • Around the World Logic Problem Sets

    Presenter: Dr. Jeni Logan
    Southern Arkansas University
    Audience: 9-12

    These logic problems are designed to use geography and economic information in clues for high school students to apply logic and deductive reasoning skills to identify countries, capital cities, continents, and a range of geographical characteristics in each problem.

  • Be Pro Be Proud

    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    Be Pro Be Proud is an initiative led by the Associated Industries of Arkansas that is spearheading the movement to bring a new generation of pride, progress, and professionals to Arkansas' skilled workforce. As the current skilled workforce is at or near retirement age, Be Pro Be Proud hopes to change how Arkansans think about these job opportunities. Be Pro Be Proud offers opportunities for job seekers, skilled professionals, employers, and teachers to be involved through training, workshops and more. (https://www.arkansasedc.com/why-arkansas/workforce/be-pro-be-proud)

  • Beachonomics

    Presenter: Val Harp
    Master Economics Teacher, Hackett
    Audience: K-2, 3-5

    Need a gnarly and engaging way to begin the new school year? Wipe out everyone’s first week of school anxieties by rolling with BEACHONOMICS to help establish routines in a fun and comfortable way. Develop team-building skills as well as human capital by creating sand castles, designing beach ball boogies, and parachuting. Comparing boomerangs to flying discs will introduce students to decision-making as well as how to save the sea turtles. Scarcity of space always occurs at the beach and lots of dough is needed to purchase beach-related goods. If time isn’t scarce, Milton the Pup can teach everyone how to bring home the bacon and learn how to save. So banzi on down and let's get stoked for BEACHONOMICS.

  • Breakout Entrepreneurs

    Presenter: Jennifer Taunton
    Master Economics Teacher, Springdale
    Audience: 3-5

    Need a little money for your classroom? Want to introduce Economics and critical thinking in a fun way? Then teaching entrepreneurship using breakout boxes or digital breakouts is the way to go. Come and learn how to teach entrepreneurship, raise a little money, breakout of boring.

  • Business & Marketing Crosswalk to Economics Arkansas

    Presenter: Becky McCormick
    ADE Division of Career and Technical Education
    Audience: 9-12

    Do you sponsor DECA or FBLA? Do you teach a Business & Marketing course? Check out our crosswalks between these CTSO organizations, curriculum and the Arkansas Economics initiative. Give your students another opportunity to show their knowledge and expand their future!

  • Classroom Resources and Grants from the Arkansas Humanities Council

    Presenters: Ann Clements & Jamie Middleton
    Arkansas Humanities Council
    Audience: K-12

    Join this fun and informative session to learn about field trip, classroom projects and professional development grants available from Jamie Middleton, Grants Program Officer for the Arkansas Humanities Council. Also featured will be information presented by Ann Clements, AHC's Education Outreach Coordinator, about AHC's FREE classroom resources, the Smithsonian Voices and Votes traveling exhibit, Hugh's Classroom Kids Club for K-4 grades and 2023-24 professional development opportunities. And door prizes! Lots of door prizes!

  • Creating a PACED Decision-Making Activity to Embed in Any Curriculum

    Presenter: Dr. Kristin Mann
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    Audience: K-12

    What types of decisions do characters in stories make? How about presidents or other leaders? Ordinary people in their daily lives? In this session, participants will learn how to create and assess a decision-making activity for any content area that uses the PACED model in the state social studies frameworks.

  • Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

    Presenter: Kathryn Robinson
    Master Economics Teacher, Fort Smith
    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    Learning how to make wise decisions is even more important now than ever. Economics is the science of decision-making, the perfect venue for teaching this important subject. A wonderful way to show correct and incorrect decisions is through literature. What story have you read that did not have a character making decisions?

  • Do You Mind?

    Presenter: Sarah Vannatta
    Foundation for Economic Education
    Audience: K-12

    Are you 'looking' for ways to understand and engage all learning styles? Can you 'hear' what I'm saying? Then 'get moving' and come learn about your learning style and how you can reach, teach, and engage ALL your students in this fun, team-building activity. Door prizes, activities, and a new insight into your instruction awaits!

  • ECYBERMISSION: A Catalyst for Engaging Middle Schoolers in STEM Exploration

    Presenter: Brian Kutsch
    eCYBERMISSION, National Teaching Association
    Audience: 9-12

    The eCYBERMISSION STEM competition, AEOP sponsored and NSTA administered, supports 6th-9th grade teachers and students with a wealth of free resources emphasizing three-dimensional learning framework. This online competition provides participants with access to eCYBERMISSION staff, standards-aligned resources, live chats with STEM professionals, grant opportunities, and more. Throughout, students explore phenomena and make connections across disciplines. The accessibility of these resources allows for equitable learning as teams compete for awards worth thousands of dollars.

  • Early Childhood Consumer Economics

    Presenter: Rebecca Simon
    UA Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service
    Audience: K-2

    Best Care training provides consumer economic content to early childhood professionals. This session will highlight Money As You Grow literacy development program available to early childhood professionals statewide.

  • Econ Every Day!

    Presenter: April Blackburn
    Master Economics Teacher Intern, Bigelow
    Audience: K-2, 3-5

    Bubblegum Day? Popcorn Day? It seems like there is a National Day for everything now! Using books provided by Economics Arkansas and the PACED Decision Making Model, you can easily teach and incorporate economic standards and vocabulary in your elementary classrooms with literacy and STEM connections. See how one teacher planned out her year-round curriculum using a National Calendar and economics!

  • Economic Freedom of the World

    Presenter: Dr. Mavuto Kalulu
    Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, UCA
    Audience: 9-12

    The original and in some ways, the central question of economics is: Why are some countries rich and others poor? Beyond being able to merely describe the differences, we want to understand how to make poor countries richer and rich countries better. This curriculum and corresponding activities describe the components of economic freedom and give examples that can illustrate the concepts to students. Students will explore concepts like the “Rule of Law,” government size, costs and spending, regulatory efficiency, and the role of markets and trade.

  • Economic Impact of the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse on Arkansas

    Presenter: Hannah Vogler
    The Arkansas STEM Coalition
    Audience: K-12

    On April 8, 2024, a large part of Arkansas will be in the path of totality of a total solar eclipse. We expect hundreds of thousands of people to flock here to witness what will be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime event for many.

    The eclipse will cause various economic impacts on the state. What should we expect? And how can you find resources to involve your students in ways that are interesting? Come find out!

  • Economic Mythbusting

    Presenter: Dr. Thomas Snyder
    Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, UCA
    Audience: 9-12

    How is being an economist like being a myth buster? Economists and mythbusters challenge misconceptions and commonly held beliefs. Economists may debunk economic fallacies or disprove incorrect assumptions about the economy's behavior. Join us during this session to discuss a variety of common economic myths and facts, related to topics like the minimum wage, economic growth, taxpaying, and trade.

  • Economics & STEM Making Real World Connections

    Presenter: Lisa Taylor
    Master Economics Teacher, Springdale
    Audience: 3-5

    Economics and STEM Making Real World Connections will share how teachers can integrate STEM and Economics into their classrooms and how to make learning fun! This session will show ways to incorporate important Economic concepts into STEM lessons while learning about inventors and inventions. Several Children's Literature books will be spotlighted during the presentation.

  • Economics From Hero to Hero

    Presenter: Tracy Floyd
    Master Economics Teacher Intern, Mena
    Audience: K-2

    In this session, participants will see how the Louise Durham Heroes used economic concepts to thank some of their hometown heroes. A variety of K-2 appropriate economic games, books, and activities will be modeled.

  • Economics in Literature - Armadillo and Hare

    Presenter: Dr. Jeni Logan
    Southern Arkansas University
    Audience: K-2, 3-5

    This economics lesson is based on the children's book "Armadillo and Hare" by Jeremy Strong and is designed for students in grades 1-4. The activities include exercises for cost-benefit analysis, PACED decision-making, vocabulary challenges, and a logic problem.

  • Embracing AI

    Presenter: Joel Miller
    Foundation for Economic Education
    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    The Foundation for Economic Education will provide a pedagogically powerful program to provide insights and applications for Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in secondary economics classrooms. This PD session will objectively benefit all economics educators by providing AI classroom applications, AI-enhanced and student-centered instructional strategies, and the latest tools to enhance educator productivity and learning outcomes to promote economic literacy. We will also discuss the challenges AI poses to education and student learning.

  • Escaping Into the Works of Adam Smith

    Presenter: Terra Aquia
    Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, UCA
    Audience: 9-12

    Adam Smith. Not only is he commonly regarded as the first modern economist, he was also a philosopher, a historian, and a professor of logic and rhetoric. Using this series of activities, social studies teachers can guide their students through key ideas presented in Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Students learn about the division of labor and specialization by making pins out of pipe cleaners and touring a virtual pin factory. They research technology and how new ideas and inventions impact the lives of individuals, families, & communities. Analyzing world, continent, and country maps, students consider how natural resources and natural geography influence economies.

  • First Security's Kids Club Savings

    Presenter: Andrea Lewis
    First Security Bank
    Audience: K-2, 3-5

    It's never too early to save! This session will provide information regarding our kids club savings account and the $50 initial deposits provided by First Security.

  • Get Real

    Presenters: Dr. Laura Hendrix & Megan Wells
    UA Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service
    Audience: 9-12

    Get Real is a hands-on experiential simulation that gives young people the opportunity to experience their future in a financial decision-making mode. Youth are encouraged to make wise financial lifestyle choices similar to those that adults face each month. As youth move from station to station, they make decisions based on their family size and affordability.

  • Grants, Scholarships, Programs and Conferences for Teachers and Students: How to Access FREE Educational Experiences in Economics

    Presenter: Jessica Culver
    Master Economics Teacher, Ozark
    Audience: K-12

    Enhance your economics classroom, and your own personal growth, with an introduction to a variety of FREE grants, scholarships, programs, and conferences that can positively impact both teachers and students. This session will introduce you to exciting and educational opportunities for a wide range of classrooms, ages, economic topics, and curriculum levels. For grades K-12, find engaging ways to experience economics through grants, scholarships, program and conferences with numerous educational opportunities!

  • How Can I Avoid Scams, Fraud, and Inappropriate Investments?

    Presenter: James Rouse
    Arkansas Securities Department
    Audience: K-12

    Fraud and scams can harm your financial situation, but knowing some red flags can hopefully help you to avoid being taken advantage of.

  • Is This for REAL?

    Presenter: Sara Dickey
    Master Economics Teacher, Paragould
    Audience: K-12

    The Arkansas State Library provides a million dollars in online resources for all libraries in the state - FREE - and this includes YOUR school library. You won’t have to worry anymore about ads, promotions, or inappropriate content when you want your students to search and find the “good stuff.” It is AMAZING what super databases are available for K-12. Come and learn where they are and how to use them!

  • Let's Talk Trade

    Presenter: Terra Aquia
    Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, UCA
    Audience: K-12

    Economists love to talk about trade. Why is that? The world is a chaotic place. Canadians want oranges in the middle of winter and have no way to efficiently grow them on their own. Trading is a way to encourage Florida orange grove owners to produce more than they, their family and friends could ever eat to give to people who are then able to do other things. During this session, we will discuss relationships between local and global economic systems, how trade creates wealth, and how markets emerge.

  • Presidential Priorities: The Executive Branch and the Federal Budget

    Presenter: Kathleen Pate
    Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
    Audience: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

    The President proposes spending that reflects his priorities but must work with Congress to pass the federal budget. In this session, we'll explore how President Clinton worked to secure funding for programs that were important to him.

  • Science and Agri and Econ...Oh My

    Presenter: Sarah Yarbrough
    Master Economics Teacher, Arkansas Arts Academy
    Audience: K-12

    My presentation will show how to integrate agriculture and economics into Science Curriculum. Attendees will do experiments, activities and see books that can be used to help with that integration. Don't reinvent the wheel...just change how you look at it.

  • THE PRICE IS RIGHT

    Presenter: Tom Woodruff
    Master Economics Teacher, Rogers
    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    Participants will relive this television show favorite! Can you guess the price of these products....2023 Toyota Platinum? Blackstone Grill? Round trip airfare to Hawaii? Hahaha! Our products will be much easier.....customer benefits, pricing, branding, and competition are some of the economic terms discussed and each participant will have a neat take away gift. Come and enjoy!

  • The Car Deal: Think Before You Buy

    Presenter: Jeannette Bennett
    Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    Have you visited a car dealership with all those new, intriguing, shiny cars? Are you tempted to buy? Showing three toy cars: one economy car, one moderately priced car and one luxury car without mentioning the price of each car, participants will vote for the car they would like to buy. After making their choices, participants will explore the decision-making and thinking skills required to make a good deal by analyzing deals criteria ”income test, down-payment option, the time option, and the interest rate of different car deals. Collateral, credit, contracts, loans, liens, principal, and net income are all parts of the car deal venue for teaching personal finance. Access to a complete ready-to-use FREE pdf lesson and alternate online version provided.

  • The Roaring Twenties: The Economic Prosperity of the Decade

    Presenter: Dr. Marcus Witcher
    Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, UCA
    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    Today, the 1920s are known in popular memory for speakeasies, flappers, bootleggers, and jazz. Americans look back on the decade with nostalgia, but few understand the economic policies that contributed to the prosperity of the 1920s. Often, the economic growth of the 1920s is discounted as the product of rampant speculation and the great achievements of the decade are presented as a false prosperity that had to end. This is not the case. The prosperity of the 1920s was very real and could have been sustained into the 1930s if not for the economic policy of the Hoover administration and the Federal Reserve.

  • Up Your Game!

    Presenter: Sarah Vannatta
    Foundation for Economic Education
    Audience: K-12

    Do you teach social studies? Are you looking for an innovative way to tie geography, economics, and Arkansas together? Come Up Your Game with this ready-to-use, engaging lesson that will do it all!

  • Using the State Capitol to Teach! Educational Resources and Materials Offered by the Secretary of State's Office Education Division

    Presenter: Katie Bass
    Secretary of State's Office
    Audience: K-12

    The PD offered by our office, entitled “Using the State Capitol to Teach,†is appropriate for teachers of all grade levels (k-12) and many different subjects such as History, Social Studies, Civics, Government, Music, Art, Architecture, and even Literacy! The teacher workshop is also lead by an experienced education team member who is familiar with Arkansas Social Studies Standards, K-12, for ease of helping all grade levels make connections for their classroom.

    The workshop will walk teachers through the history of how the Arkansas State Capitol came to be as well as a full virtual tour of the Capitol Building. This virtual tour is available to all teachers via internet and is similar to what to expect on an in-person guided tour of the building. The presenter will also provide an overview of each classroom presentation that we offer (all of which are hands-on and cross-curricular) and how they are adjusted for each grade level. We will even bring many of the props/activities we actually do with the students for you to see and try for yourselves!

    Finally, we walk teachers through our website and how to find more information on our programming. We talk teachers through click-by-click where they can find and utilize lesson plans, worksheets, activities, podcasts, videos, music, order forms for materials, and multiple versions of the guided and self-guided tours.

  • What's "POP"ing in Economics

    Presenter: Jamie Garmon
    Master Economics Teacher, Little Rock
    Audience: K-2

    Join me for a "corn-tastic" session all about corn. We will begin with the different types of corn. We will explore where Arkansas ranks with corn production and which states produce the most corn. Then, we will explore the history of popcorn and how it became popular. Come with me as we browse through a variety of books that are popping with economics.

    From productive resources, human capital, entrepreneurship, services, bartering for goods, the PACED Decision Making Grid, and more....we have a lot to cover!!! So, POP on by for a corny experience.

  • What's In Your Piggy Bank?

    Presenter: Nakesha Cunningham
    Master Economics Teacher, Little Rock
    Audience: K-2

    A Piggy Bank is the traditional name of a coin container normally used by children. This container can also be referred to as a Savings Jar. This session will spotlight the importance of Earning, Spending, and Saving Money. We will explore a variety of Piggy Bank books and learn about the economic concepts embedded in each book such as: wants, goods, services, choices, producers, consumers, entrepreneurs, scarcity, productive resources, natural resources, human resources, and capital resources.

  • Why Didn't the Chicken Cross the Ocean?

    Presenter: Joel Miller
    Foundation for Economic Education
    Audience: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will identify the role of tariffs in U.S. History prior to participating in a market simulation for light trucks. Buyers and sellers will interact to determine an equilibrium price for the market in Round 1. In Round 2, students will examine how the market changes when lower cost of production international trucks enter the market. The falling price and profits to domestic sellers in Round 2 causes a tariff to be instituted for Round 3 of the market simulation. Students will see how the tariff made it difficult for international sellers to make a profit and insulated domestic producers from competition, raising prices for consumers in the market. Part 2 of the assignment has students examine the Chicken Tax of the early 1960s by watching a video, reading an article, and examining a graph. Finally, students will participate in an activity that asks them to move to a side of the room as they determine if a variety of groups are helped or hurt by the Chicken Tax.

  • Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas 5th-8th Grade Startup Competition

    Presenter: Marie Bruno
    Arkansas Capital Corporation
    Audience: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

    The 19th Y.E.S. competition starts this fall! It's a proven opportunity to give students a hands-on chance to experience the basics of launching a startup. Winning students AND teachers get cash awards! Find out how to get started and how Y.E.S. requirements complement teaching both core education and student personal skills. Although Y.E.S. is only for 5th-8th graders, all teachers are welcome and can use the materials to design an opportunity for their students.

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