Monthly Archives: August 2014

Word Problems

I’m teaching a new class for our school this year – Financial Literacy. It’s a course for seniors who are not interested in (or we didn’t think they should be taking) AP Stats or Pre-Calc, which are our only other options for senior math. (And AP Calc, of course, but since the pre-req for that is Pre-Calc…you get the idea.)


I probably should mention that I got sick over the weekend and am still suffering the effects of a pretty nasty cold including, but not limited to: headache, congestion, sore throat, coughing, scratchy voice, more congestion, exhaustion, general feeling of crappiness. My writing is going to make about as much sense tonight as my speaking did today – not much. But I have a story to tell. So I’m going to.

Ahem. Where was I? Teaching a new class this year…right, so I didn’t get very far. Tangents, right?!

So I’m teaching Financial Literacy. We’ve learned how checking and savings accounts work, how to balance a checkbook, and how to calculate simple and compound interest so far. Yes, I should admit I didn’t do a great job teaching balancing a checkbook, and I will do better next year. Next, we’ll be learning about how to get a job, how to read a pay stub, and other employment-related things. We’ll be learning about credit cards and loans this semester, and buying a car. It’s actually a really cool class and I’m very excited to be teaching it. Everything we do is a real-life application. Every single concept we’re teaching is something they will need to know next year when they finish high school. Every single problem is a real-life application problem.

What’s the downside (from a student point of view)? Every single problem is a word problem. Continue reading