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For Teachers: Lessons on Earnings Season

Earnings season gets underway this week. Here's a look at how to get ready for it.

The Week in Review is provided by The Stock Market Game, which is a curriculum-based teaching tool that allows students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 online stock portfolio to learn about long-term saving and investing.

The Stock Market Game Week in Review: Mar. 31-Apr. 4

April marks the beginning of earnings season in the financial world and there has been much talk on Wall Street that the credit crisis sparked by subprime loans may be drawing to a close.

Optimism and pessimism along with fear and greed are the primary emotions among traders and this week the optimists seem to be winning. Evidence of this can be found in the

Dow

, which had one of its better weeks in quite some time. The Dow even took a disturbing jobs report in stride last week when the government reported that the economy lost 80,000 jobs sending the unemployment rate up to 5.1%.

But don't count the pessimists out. They believe we are not at the end of the credit crisis and that there will be more pain to follow as companies report earnings, especially financial companies. More

write-downs

from banks and brokerages, the pessimists believe, could send this house-of-cards-

rally crashing down.

There are many ways to engage your students during earnings season. One of them is to get them to listen to an earnings call, which most companies tape and make available on the Web. For example,

Family Dollar

(FDO)

TheStreet Recommends

has its earnings call from Apr. 4 available on its

Web site

. You can find most earnings podcasts on company Web sites by looking for their Investor Relations, Media or News sections.

To find out when a company is reporting, you can use this

earnings calendar

or go to the company's Web site and look for the sections mentioned above, where there is usually a press release that lets people know when the company will report.

You can learn more about what to watch for during earnings season from this helpful

collection

of insightful articles.

April also marks the kick-off of Financial Literacy Month and participating in the Stock Market Game (SMG) is an excellent way to improve financial literacy. However, there are other fun programs and activities you may want to use in concert with the SMG and many of them can be found at the JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy. They have an excellent

clearinghouse

with a cornucopia of helpful material.

To learn more about The Stock Market Game, go to www.stockmarketgame.org.

This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.