MR. POTTORFF, 2010-2011

    1. Challenge Projects:
      • Service Hours: You must complete an average of 10 hours (20 total hours for the semester) per nine-week grading period volunteering at a local service-based organization.  You will find a list of contact information & organization names on the bulletin board in Social Studies Resource if you need help.  You WILL need to complete pre & post experience reflections to receive full credit.  All necessary forms can be obtained from me.
      • Creative Project: I have a materials list available that you can use to spur your creative juices.  The only limitation is that you address a topic that deals with economics in some way.
      • Book Report: Read a teacher-approved book related to economics & complete a 5-6 page critical analysis of it.  This may not sound appealing at first glance, however, I have a list of books that range the gamut from traditional books on theory to economic murder mysteries that you can use.
      • Out-of-Class Activity: I will discuss the details in class.
    1. Classroom Rules:
      • Do not talk while I am talking.
      • Do not talk while your classmates are talking during discussions, activities, etc. (they will often say wiser things than I).
      • Treat all others in the class with respect at all times.
      • Treat all materials in this room, the library, the computer lab, etc, with respect at all times.
      • Always come to class prepared & ready to have fun.  This means that you bring your book, folder, HOMEWORK, writing utensils, etc., EVERY day.  Another daily companion of yours should be an open & inquisitive mind.
      • PARTICIPATE, PARTICIPATE, PARTICIPATE.  You certainly don’t want to hear me ramble on for 45 minutes every day.  This class is for YOU; please make the most of it.  I will talk about appropriate participation in its varied forms in class.  I reserve the right to grade on your level of participation at any time, announced or unannounced.
      • Do not cheat, sleep during class, or blame things on someone or something else when it is actually your fault.
      • Follow all rules not covered here that are in the Columbus East High School student handbook.


    1. Course Projects:
      • Stock Market Game: This will run for 10 weeks.  We will use a web-based simulation & you will work in groups of five.  Your team receives $100,000 in “play” money & the team with the highest portfolio value at the end receives extra credit.
    1. Grading Policies:
      • You will be responsible for keeping an up-to-date grade sheet.  Most of you are probably familiar with these already; however, we will go over them at some point to assure that everybody knows what to do.  WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT?  I will be collecting them every three weeks for a 20-point grade each time. 
      • I will use the Columbus East Social Studies Department grading scale that can be found at the top of your grade sheet to assign all letter grades.
      • Any absences that are preplanned should be brought to my attention so that I can provide you with makeup work to complete while you are gone.
      • You will be given one day to make up work for any single day unexpected absence.  If you miss multiple days unexpectedly you will be given two-three days to make up your work depending on the given circumstance.



    A. Introduction to Economics

    • Course Introduction
    • Basic Vocabulary of Economics: Scarcity, Opportunity Cost, Factors of Production, Etc.
    • Types of Economic Systems & the Circular Flow of Economic Activity
    • Goals of US Economy & Characteristics of Capitalism
    • Advantages/Disadvantages of the Following: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, & Corporations

    B. Demand, Supply, & Equilibrium

      • Demand: Laws of Demand & Diminishing Marginal Utility, Substitutes & Complements, & Elasticity
      • Supply: Laws of Supply & Diminishing Returns
      • Equilibrium: Surplus/Shortage, & Shifts in Demand & Supply Curves

    C. Investing & Stocks

      • Savings & Investment Options: Bank Accounts, Certificates of Deposit, Roth IRAs, Etc.
      • Stock Market Basics: Working Vocabulary of Wall Street, Investment Videos, Broker Presentation

    D. Competition, Market Structure, & Role of Government

      • Characteristics of the Following: Pure Competition, Monopolistic Competition, Oligopoly, & Monopoly
      • Types of Mergers & Government Regulation of Monopolies
      • Primary Functions & Roles of Government in the US Economy
      • Regulatory Agencies of the Government


    E. Government Spending & Taxes

      • Government Expenditures: Where Does All the Money Go?
      • National Debt & Deficit Spending
      • Balancing the Budget: Why Is it So Difficult?
      • Various Types of Taxes

    F. Give the Economy a Checkup

      • GDP, Real GDP, & the CPI
      • Business Cycle Basics
      • Causes & Consequences of Inflation
      • Aggregate Demand & Aggregate Supply
      • Measuring Unemployment, Types of Unemployment, & the Concept of “Full Employment”

    G. Money, Banking, & the Fed

      • Origins & Functions of Money
      • Structure & Functions of the Federal Reserve System
      • Controlled Expansion of the Money Supply & the Tools of the Fed

    H. International Trade & Currency Exchange

      • Absolute & Comparative Advantages
      • Trade Barriers (Tariffs, Quotas, Etc.)
      • Fixed vs. Flexible Exchange Rates


Last Modified on September 1, 2010