Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Budget Project

Why Math? Let Me Tell You!

There is something great about math projects! It always gives students purpose; it answers the question, "Why do we have to do that?" So, I built on last year's in class Budget Project by typing it up, sharing it with students and printing it for them to fill out. On top of that, they were given some extras that didn't even exist as options last year.

We started off with a discussion about income. I am afraid to admit that one student thought I might make $500 A YEAR! The children had to research a profession they were interested in pursuing. I told them they could not earn more than $150,000 a year. There wouldn't be much to gain from a budget with no limits. They were then asked to calculate what their real earnings would be after state and federal taxes. There were quite a few boohoos at this. From there, the students had to grocery shop for the week.

Week two consisted of house hunting. They looked for homes, condominiums, townhouses and apartments in Burlington. They also had to calculate out their property taxes. More boohoos and a few questions about finding roommates (which some did.) Week three was all about buying a car and calculating out the cost of the loan and insurance. Week 4 allowed the children to determine the water bill, heat and power.

Throughout the process, children read charts, followed rules, multiplied using decimals and percentages and more. In the end, they had to make decisions about what they can afford. The were assigned a budget spreadsheet through Google Classroom. The formulas were set so the children could put in their weekly, monthly or yearly costs and have it calculate the monthly spending and finally come up with a disposable income figure.

With an end in sight, the children used Slides to make a presentation to display where they will live, what they buy and more. They were asked to plan a vacation with their disposable income. I wonder what kind of trips they will take...if any. I can't wait to see them when they are all done!

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