Category: Math

Interactive Monday: What makes for a better life?

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Aug 13, 2018
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Interactive, Current Events, Math
I thought this would be an interesting question and interactive to get your personal finance class off to a great start this year. It takes a step back from talking about money and forces students to think about what they value most when it comes to life. It will also allow them to 1) see what countries match up best with their definition of a better life 2) see how their answers compare with others in the U.S. and 3) have them think about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the U.S....

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks With Andy Davidson About Math's Role In Building Financial Capability

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Aug 10, 2018
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Podcasts, Math
Andy Davidson spent much of his career on Wall Street and saw first-hand what happens when consumers lack basic financial skills.  What he saw inspired him to create a course that teaches personal finance through mathematics. And thus, FiCycle was born! Hear how he describes the rationale behind the three pillars of his curriculum, the importance of scaffolding and what this entrepreneur has learned along the way. Listen closely as Andy espouses the virtues of bringing more math into your...

3 Graphs: How Risky are Stocks, Bonds and Cash?

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Aug 02, 2018
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Investing, Stocks, Behavioral Finance, Research, Math, Chart of the Week
Hat tip to the Wealth of Common Sense blog for updating their performance charts which help demonstrate a key concept in investing: risk. Risk is one of those nebulous concepts for teens who have never experienced a severe market correction while holding stocks. These charts help elucidate risk from a mathematical perspective by plotting returns for the three basic asset classes: cash, bonds and stocks. By using the same scale for each, it becomes more apparent which is the riskiest asset. ...

Interactive: Where Work Pays

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Jul 24, 2018
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Employment, Interactive, Career, Math
The Hamilton Project released another engaging interactive, Where Work Pays [Hat tip to Brian Page for pointing this out]. Here's how it works.... a) Students select an occupation b) Input an age group c) Adjust for Cost of living and/or Income Taxes (optional)  d) Toggle between Local or States which will affect the map view.   So, why do I love this interactive. It brings together so many concepts in one activity, including Career choice (what do you think you want...

Just One Resource - NUMBER CHUG: Break Even with Soap

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Jul 18, 2018
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Just One Resource, Math, Entrepreneurship
        In this new weekly blog post, Jessica will highlight Just One Resource from our NGPF collection that maybe doesn't get the attention it deserves. Use it this week or bookmark it for later.    [The Resource]  NUMBER CHUG: Break Even with Soap The Gist: In this scenario, "April's" caught the entrepreneurial spirit and is handmaking soaps to sell for profit. Over the course of this seven-question Number Chug, students learn about revenue, cost,...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Maggie Robles About Creating a Successful Financial Math Program at Centennial High School (CA)

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Jul 06, 2018
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Podcasts, Math, Teaching Strategies, Advocacy
Maggie Roble’s students at Centennial High School in Corona, California asked relentlessly why there was no class on practical, financial math they could use outside of classroom. She decided to change things for the better and built a math class from the ground up that would provide her students with those "real-life" skills. She clearly built something the students love? Since the program’s inception just two years ago, she has increased the number of students in her program from...

The case for a practical math class: Personal Finance

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Jun 11, 2018
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Advocacy, Personal Finance, Math, Article
The Scoop Last month, Edsource and The National Council for Teachers in Mathematics (NCTM) published an article making the case that high school math instruction needs an overhaul. In the piece, the NCTM calls for math course offerings that allow students to be “prepared to use math to understand the world around them and [have] an appreciation for the important role math plays in society.” NCTM President Matt Larson goes on, “we hope students will come to understand the beauty...

Just One Resource - Understanding Amortization

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Apr 18, 2018
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Just One Resource, Math, Activity
        In this new weekly blog post, Jessica will highlight Just One Resource from our NGPF collection that maybe doesn't get the attention it deserves. Use it this week or bookmark it for later.    [The Resource]  ANALYZE: Understanding Amortization The Gist: Young Janet decides to treat herself to 6 weeks of South American travel before starting her first post-college job, and she's going to finance the trip using a $3500 personal loan. Her credit...

Math Spotlight: Nothing can be said to be certain, except MATH and taxes

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Apr 18, 2018
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Math, Taxes, Teaching Strategies
So yesterday was the beloved TAX DAY here in the US. Funnily enough, the IRS website was down so maybe those procrastinators will get lucky and be given an extension (update: they were given one more day). I’m sure that students are asking all types of tax questions due to both current events and the tax season, so it is only fitting that we highlight a Taxes Activity related to Math for our Math Spotlight this week! Drum roll…To kick it off, CALCULATE: Completing a 1040EZ is a...

Add a Little Math Sparkle to your Classroom with Number Chugs

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Apr 11, 2018
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Math, Teaching Strategies
Incorporating Math into a Personal Finance Classroom & Financial Concepts into the Math Classroom. When we started this project, I thought deeply about my years teaching physics. For instance, I wanted to take a related and important topic, like Climate Change and insert it into my curriculum, but I ran into a number of challenges. The physics concepts associated with Climate Change were too advanced for my students and the climate change concepts were often too surface level to relate to...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Entrepreneurial Educator, Brian Bean of Tomball Memorial High School (TX)

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Mar 30, 2018
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Podcasts, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Math
Brian Bean definitely took the road less traveled—though not always of his own accord—to become a teacher. After a Ponzi scheme he invested in went bust, he vowed to teach the younger generation about money management. What his students simulate in his classroom economy at Tomball Memorial High School (TX) will undoubtedly be situations they face in the “real world,” and Brian wants to prepare them as best he can. This personal finance math teacher extraordinaire has...

Interactive: How Long Do I Have To Wait For That Table?

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Feb 25, 2018
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Math, Budgeting, Interactive
What happens when you show up on Friday night at your favorite diner with a group of friends and realize you are #10 on the waiting list? You could walk out and go elsewhere but nobody has better grilled cheese and chocolate cheesecake OR you could treat it as a math problem and try and come up with an estimate of how long the wait is going to be. You count all the tables in the diner (15 or so) and figure that most meals here take about 45 minutes to complete (they like to turn their tables:)...

Investment Math: Averages Can Deceive

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Jan 31, 2018
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Math, Investing, Stocks
What if you were told to choose from two investments: Investment A had an average annual return of 5.00% over a 10 year period. Investment B had an average annual return of 4.97% over a 10 year period.  Seems pretty straight forward, so I'm guessing that a majority of you would select Investment A since it has a higher average return. A few of you would be thinking, "this must be a trick question" and would select B. What if I then told you that the value of Investment B was almost 50%...

Question of the Day: What is the median sales price for existing homes in the U.S.?

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Nov 29, 2017
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Mortgages, Math, Economics
Answer: $247,000 (as of October 2017) From National Association of Realtors: "The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5 percent from October 2016 ($234,100). October's price increase marks the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains.Total housing inventory3 at the end of October decreased 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen...

Can The Dow Jones Really Hit 1,000,000 in a Century? Will Warren Buffett's Prediction Come True?

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Oct 02, 2017
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Question of the Day, Activities, Index Funds, Math
A good math exercise (or spreadsheet activity) that also teaches students about a popular stock market index and the power of compounding. It starts with a simple question: Do you think the Dow Jones Industrial Average will hit a 1,000,000 in one hundred years? From MarketWatch: Doubling, even tripling on that belief that U.S. stocks are the best long-term bet around, he tossed in a fairly bullish call. Buffett said he expects the Dow Jones Industrial Average to be ”over 1 million”...