This unit is intended for middle school teachers with remedial students in grades 78. The unit is approximately for five weeks. The problems involve computations with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
The students I have in my classroom are severely deficient in their basic mathematical skills. In order to create motivation it is important for the students to discover the relationship between classroom mathematics and its applications to everyday experiences. Budgeting an income provides a variety of ways to express this relationship.
Most of my students are from low income families which must function on a strict budget. Many students work daily after school and weekends. Most of the students work during the summer and they can use the money they make then to implement into a yearly budget. I want the students to realize the many ways money can be utilized for saving and spending. For the students without jobs and the knowledge of money I want a realization that money from their parents is not unlimited.
The unit will encompass basic mathematical skills studied in the past and ways to use them in problem solving budget questions. The calculations will involve simple mathematical steps instead of intricate ones that are soon lost. The student section of the curriculum is for remedial reading and mathematics students. I will use the local newspaper periodically in class which is offered free of charge to the students in the New Haven school district.
At the conclusion of the unit the students will have an idea of how much money is needed to survive with a family or independently. An idea will be formed of where the students can afford to live and what miscellaneous extras can be afforded. A realization of all the problems and factors involved in dividing an income will make the students aware of everyday money problems. One of the main goals is for the students to become motivated to learn and stay in school to obtain the skills necessary for a well paying career.
Budgeting an income requires a responsible person to work out how a family or individual will spend their money. Decisions have to be made based on what is of greatest importance to the family. A budget should express where the money is being spent and the areas where one can economize. A frequent review of a budget will help locate these areas. A budget helps people save for expensive items that can’t be purchased with one paycheck. A small amount of savings put away on a regular basis will provide a source for emergency money.
The following questions are examples of the types of questions students should discuss before beginning to write a budget.
1. Why is it advantageous to construct a budget?
2. What should be included in my budget?
3. What will happen to my budget in a crisis situation?
4. Why are so many people with high salary jobs in debt?
5. Why don’t more people use a budget?
6. Should I find a higher paying job to meet all of my budget needs?
7. Are all the items in my budget really necessary?
8. Is thereroom for savings within my budget?