Math Monday: How Checking Works
This Math Monday, we’re exploring the Financial Algebra lesson How Checking Works, which kicks off the Checking & Linear Equations Unit. If you want a deeper dive into this unit, sign up for Financial Algebra: Unit 2 Checking and Linear Equations, next Tuesday at 2 pm Pacific.
This lesson introduces students to the basics of checking accounts, including why you might get a checking account, how you can use it, and why many people are unbanked. Students practice reading a sample bank statement in FINE PRINT: Checking Account Statement.
Some Financial Algebra lessons, like this one, are primarily focused on personal finance. However, you’ll notice personal finance lessons still weave in relevant math through data analysis and the Math Connection segment.
The Math Connection
In this lesson’s Math Connection, students use the context of a checking account balance to practice representing and interpreting data in graphs. They compare two different representations of the checking account balance from the earlier Fine Print activity.
The purpose of this activity is to get students thinking about whether a function is continuous, as the smoothed graph connects neighboring data points, while the piece graph shows jumps in the account balance. Students extend that understanding by considering the advantages and disadvantages of each graph - which is more useful? More accurate?
Extend the Learning
Looking for more resources on this topic? Here are some great places to get started!
- Financial Algebra course page
- PD: Financial Algebra Unit 2 Checking and Linear Equations; September 28 at 2 pm Pacific
- Question of the Day: What percent of 14-22 year olds have a bank account? by NGPF
- Interactive Banking Data by Prosperity Now
Want an extra ready-to-go activity on checking? Check out INTERACTIVE: Navigate Your Online Bank Account!
About the Author
Kathryn (she/her) is excited to join the NGPF team after 9 years of experience as a special education teacher and a tutor. 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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