When I gave students their job, they were immediately invested. It was as if they had just been hired into the workforce and this was their way of life. I personalized the learning for students by handing out jobs strategically so that students could successfully calculate their net salary. Stronger students had more tax brackets than those that struggle, which allowed everyone in the room to find success in this project.
Students learned why we pay taxes, how this system works and the effect of salary on lifestyle. In creating their budgets and shopping for homes students witnessed first-hand how quickly money can be spent.
At the end of the project, students were given an “unexpected life event”. These were things that are difficult to plan for and can offset a budget causing financial struggle. When students received their life event, they went nuts as if these tragic events were actually happening to them.
Through this entire project students embodied their role in society. I love seeing the kids get so excited about math that it comes alive. Students will buy into anything when they can see the real life implications.
Justin Bechthold (@jbechthold) ~ Passionate teacher in grade 8 Math/Science. Always looking for ways to innovate & improve my lessons. Lifelong learner