Mix-and-Match Budget Project for High School Consumer Math

I have been working on a budget project where high school students choose a career, apartment, car and habit and see if they can stay within budget.

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on a budget project where students mix and match a career, apartment, car and habit to see if their spending falls within given budget guidelines. Will students stay within budget with their choices?

6th Grade Math Bulletin Board Vocabulary Wall

Transform Your Bulletin Board into a 6th Grade Math Vocabulary Focus Wall

Are you looking for a way to support your 6th grade math students? In this post are just some of the visual 6th grade math vocabulary references included in a 6th grade math word wall. The math word wall has grown a lot over the years as I have added teacher requests, and now includes a printable color version, a printable black & white version, an interactive digital version in Google Slides, and printable Spanish vocabulary.

Scaffolded consumer math curriculum for building financial literacy

Scaffolded Consumer Math Curriculum

How do I file a tax return? What is a credit score? How much of my paycheck will be withheld for taxes? How much rent can I afford? What is an APR? 

I got A TON of questions just like these while teaching high school consumer math. Many of the questions were about things I assumed my students would already know. But how would they know? My students were seniors and worried about life after high school. Understandable!

The consumer math curriculum's student notebook sheets build an interactive notebook and match the student book.

When I taught consumer math, we had a very basic book but that was it. I spent a lot of time piecing the course together from materials found online. My students were all seniors with IEPs for mild to moderate disabilities in math/reading, so I needed to find accessible materials that were also age-appropriate and interesting. I wanted my students to enjoy building their personal finance skills because these are fun skills to learn! In spring 2022, I decided to get working on building the consumer math curriculum I had wished I had back then. The curriculum is now available on my website

This printable consumer math curriculum is an approachable guide to building financial literacy for teens. It includes warm-ups, a student book, accompanying student notebook sheets, a teacher's book, PowerPoint projector notes, editable quizzes and all answer keys. The curriculum will answer all of your students' personal finance questions, and more. 

"Hands-down, this is the best consumer math curriculum. Easy to use even if you don’t have the greatest understanding of certain concepts. Warms-ups for access to extra practice problems as well as walkthrough power-points and much more. So thankful I got it! My students enjoyed learning each concept and were able to work through excellent real-world math problems making it relatable!” -Teacher Jodi Staggers

Here's a short video overview of the student book and student notebook sheets:


  • Wants vs. needs
  • Checks and registers
  • Wages and salary
  • Bank accounts
  • Budgets
  • Electronic banking and credit cards
  • Credit score
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Sales tax and tip
  • Percent change
  • Unit price
  • Income taxes*
  • Car loans
  • Mortgages
  • Student loans
  • Investing
  • Car insurance 

*The income taxes unit will be updated every year. Updates are free.

"This Consumer Math curriculum is amazing. It is so well organized! I also used the activity bundle and this made a super year long course! I would highly recommend it!" - Teacher Amy Field


Scaffolded Consumer Math Curriculum

Files included: 
  • Student book (186 pages) 
  • Teacher’s book (190 pages) 
  • Student notebook sheets (114 half sheets)
  • PowerPoint projector notes 
  • Editable quizzes for each unit (17 quizzes) 
  • Warm-ups for each unit
  • All answer keys 

Scaffolded Consumer Math Curriculum - income taxes unit


The student book is a reference that includes vocabulary, examples and questions for students to answer. You can choose to print the entire student book at once, or each unit at a time for student packets or their binders. Both formats are included.

The student notebook sheets are half-sheets designed for an interactive notebook. The sheets provide space for students to answer the questions posed in the book, and also include additional analysis questions. Students paste these notebook sheets into a composition notebook, which then becomes their own personal finance reference.

The teacher’s book and student notebook sheets answer key include all answers to all questions presented in the student book and the extra analysis questions on the student notebook sheets.

The projector notes match the student notebook sheets so that you can complete notes along with your students on the board.

The quizzes are completely editable. Quiz answer keys are included for all quizzes and are also editable.

The warm-ups for every unit are formatted for student notebooks.

Scaffolded Consumer Math Curriculum


Who is this curriculum for? 
I wrote this consumer math curriculum for high school students not taking precalculus or calculus and who may have mild to moderate disabilities in math and/or reading. These are the students I taught when teaching consumer math and who I feel will benefit most from this curriculum. 

Can it work for younger students? 
If your students have already been introduced to percents, this consumer math curriculum may work for them. However, I feel that high school students will be more invested in learning the material as it answers the questions they currently have about their personal finances. 

What makes this curriculum different?
When I taught consumer math, I spent a lot of time searching for materials. I built this curriculum to be what I wished I had as a consumer math teacher— a textbook with matching notebook printables and all answer keys. It will also be updated yearly (the income tax unit). Re-downloads are free.

Do you have a printout that I can give to my admin for approval? 
Yes, you can find a printout here for your administrator.

Will the curriculum be sent in the mail?
This curriculum is a set of digital downloadable files. Nothing will be sent in the mail.

Do you have a sample of the curriculum?
You can find a preview of the curriculum here in my Drive.

Is it for a semester or for the year? 
This curriculum does not contain activities outside of the student notebook sheets and warm-ups, so can possibly be completed in a single semester. For teachers who would like to supplement with additional activities, a big bundle of consumer math activities is available.

How many licenses do I need? 
The curriculum is licensed for 1 single teacher to use with his or her students year after year.

I homeschool. Will this work for me? 
Yes. You may not need the projector notes because they are meant to project onto a screen in a classroom, but all other included materials will work.

Is it available on TPT? 
No, the consumer math curriculum is only available on my website.

Do you have a list of standards? 
This curriculum covers the following National Standards for Personal Financial Education: 

Earning Income: wages and salary, gross pay, exact net pay, approximating net pay, pay schedules, tips, earning interest, retirement savings, 401(K) employer matching, filing income taxes, tax deductions, wage theft 

Spending: budgeting, keeping a register, comparing unit prices, sales tax, discounts, coupons 

Saving: savings, checking, money market accounts, CDs, simple interest, compound interest, pre- and post-tax retirement accounts 

Investing: risk vs. reward, stock market, bonds, retirement accounts, diversifying

Credit: credit card interest, credit card choices, credit score, credit report, minimum payments, APRs, down payments, car loans, mortgages, amortization schedules, student loan interest, student loan choices, deferment, forbearance, capitalizing interest 

Will the curriculum be updated?
Yes, this curriculum will be updated every year to reflect changes to the way we file income taxes. When the curriculum is ready to be re-downloaded, you will receive an email and will be able to re-download the curriculum from your account. This is free to do.

Do you accept school purchase orders?
Yes, purchase order information can be found here.

With everything you need in one place, this consumer math curriculum will make teaching the course easy for you and enjoyable for your students. Consumer math is such an important and fun course to teach, and I hope that your students thoroughly enjoy building their financial literacy with you! Please send me an email to shana@scaffoldedmath.com if you have any questions.

The Scaffolded Consumer Math Curriculum is available for download here.

Self-Checking Algebra Escape Room Activities

Algebra Escape Rooms

Algebra is so fun to teach, and learning algebra helps students build their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Witnessing students' "aha" moments and their new understanding of abstract concepts throughout the school year is incredibly rewarding as an algebra teacher. 

With all this being said, learning algebra can be hard for some kids. One of the big hurdles I saw students face in algebra was the transition from being able to solve math problems in their heads to needing to write everything down because of the multiple steps in algebra. Students who equated being “smart in math” with being able to solve problems mentally can struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Part of my job as an algebra teacher was to break this connection between mental math and being a math person. After all, we wouldn’t know about Albert Einstein’s work if he never wrote anything down. 

7 Fun Activities for Teaching Integers

7 Fun Activities for Teaching Integers

Integers seem to follow students as they move through middle school to high school. Especially with adding and subtracting integers, the "rules" are vague, and students really need to develop a conceptual understanding of what's going on when working with these tricky numbers. In this post are a bunch of integer activities that will help foster deeper understanding or integers while also being fun. 

Whether you're introducing the concept of integers or looking to reinforce student understanding, the activities in this post have you covered.

Teaching small group Algebra 2

A collection of small group special education algebra 2 teaching ideas

Teaching small group algebra 2 was challenging and super rewarding. Now that I am out of the classroom, teaching algebra 2 is one of the things I miss most. So much growth happens in students between when they enter the course and leave it. There were always so many times when my students thought a topic would be way too hard and ended up mastering it not too much time later. 

In this post I want to share some of the teaching ideas and materials that I used in my small group special education algebra 2 class. Every student had an IEP and most were in 11th grade. Some were seniors, but most seniors in small group math took consumer math. I'll also link towards the end some of the cheat sheets I made for our inclusion algebra 2 class that got a bit farther in the curriculum than we did in small group.

If you've taught 9th grade algebra, you will likely recognize some of the topics we cover in small group algebra 2. A lot of review was necessary to lay the groundwork for new topics:

Stick Figure Functions

Stick Figure Functions

Can you pose your stick figure into each of these 12 functions? Students build then pose their stick figure into algebraic functions as a fun, hands-on experience to learn and review algebraic functions. 

Inside this download is a functions stick figure cutout and a functions worksheet. The worksheet is a 12-functions guide for students to use to pose their stick figure. Students can then sketch each function on their worksheet.