Jun 26, 2022

Math Monday: Dive Into Housing Costs

Housing is the largest expense for most Americans, but costs vary widely by state. How much should you expect to pay? In this new Desmos activity, students compare histograms showing their state's monthly mortgage and rent costs.

Students practice matching box plots and histograms, identifying the median, and describing the distribution of data in DESMOS: Histograms and Box Plots of Housing Costs.

This Desmos is designed as an interactive option for Level 2 of APPLICATION: Representing Data on Student Loans, Housing, and High-Cost Lenders. Using this Desmos option allows you to customize the activity using data for your state. 


Part 1: Card Sort

First, students practice matching histograms and box plots. These data sets represent the cost of rent and mortgage payments in Michigan and California.


Part 2: Michigan Housing Costs

Next, students answer three true-or-false questions about housing costs in Michigan. These questions prompt students to compare two histograms, determine what conclusions they can draw from a histogram, and explain their reasoning using math vocabulary. These slides are a great launch pad for whole-class discussion!



Part 3: Your State

Next, students will input the state they live in - or any state they want to research! The rest of the activity will focus on rent and mortgage data for that state. 

Students answer similar analysis questions and then sketch the box plot for rent or mortgage costs in their state.



The Teacher Dashboard

As always, you can use the teacher dashboard to monitor student progress, highlight student answers to share with the class, and give feedback.

For this activity, consider using the “Responses” mode to find specific student answers to share with the class. To do this, just click on the slide you’re interested in while on the teacher dashboard.

We hope you enjoyed this activity! You can find this and more in the NGPF Financial Algebra Desmos Collection.


About the Author

Kathryn Dawson

Kathryn (she/her) is excited to join the NGPF team after 9 years of experience in education as a mentor, tutor, and special education teacher. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in policy analysis and management and has a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College. Kathryn is looking forward to bringing her passion for accessibility and educational justice into curriculum design at NGPF. During her free time, Kathryn loves embarking on cooking projects, walking around her Seattle neighborhood with her partner and dog, or lounging in a hammock with a book.

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