Category Archives: Financial Literacy

Week 1 Update

Quick update on the first week of the spring semester. Continue reading


Week In Review – Week 4

Financial Literacy

We started the week with a quiz on bank accounts, balancing a checkbook, and simple interest. After the kids were done with the quiz, I used a pop culture reference to introduce compound interest, which was the next thing on the curriculum calendar.

See, I am awesome. I intersperse my lessons with pop culture references. Continue reading

First Days of School

No, I’m not going to quote that Harry Wong book at you.¬†Actually, my thoughts on that book could constitute a whole other blog post. I’ll restrain myself.

I just finished my plans (by plans I mean flipcharts) for the first week of the school year in both of my classes. Does this seem early to you? Then you must not live in Arizona. We are starting school on August 3 in my district. That is two weeks from Monday. Next week I’m going to Twitter Math Camp, and the week after that is the-week-before-school-starts. I’ll probably be spending 2-3 days down on campus getting all the stuff done that I can’t do at home (photocopying entire forests worth of paper), then we are required to report on the Thursday of that week. Which means Thursday and Friday will be spent listening to our admin talk about stuff, participating in meetings, and wondering why we feel like we’re not ready for school to start on Monday.

This means that I am reporting back to school two weeks from yesterday. Wow.

I’d like to outline what my plans are for this week in each class, partly so that when I can’t remember what I did a year from now, I’ll be able to look here. (Let’s be honest – this is only my 3rd time doing the first week of school. I still have no idea if my plans will work. If someone else wants to use my ideas, go for it. I make no guarantees about the quality of said ideas.)

All right, enough dilly-dallying.  Continue reading

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