How do I file my tax return? What is a credit score and where does it come from? What is the difference between a debit card and a credit card? How much of my paycheck will be taken out in taxes? Was I paid for the hours I worked last week? Can I afford a car?

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!

After years of milling over the best way to build a printable curriculum, I am SO EXCITED to say that I now have a consumer math curriculum available for download.

This consumer math curriculum is an approachable guide to building financial literacy. It is geared towards high school students to prepare them for a successful financial life after graduation. The curriculum includes a printable student book, accompanying student notebook pages, a printable teacher's book, editable quizzes, projector notes and all answer keys.

Here is a short video overview of what is included in the curriculum:

Topics covered:

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

Filing income taxes*

Car loans

Mortgages

Student loans

Investing

*The income taxes unit will be updated each year to reflect changes to that year's U.S. Form 1040. You will receive an email when the curriculum is ready for redownload. Redownloads are free.

Files included:

Printable student text (174 pages)

Printable teacher text with all answer keys (178 pages)

Projector notes (these match the student notebook sheets)

Editable quizzes for each unit (16 quizzes in PowerPoint)

Quiz answer keys

How to use the included files:

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

The student notebook sheets provide a space for students to answer the questions posed in the text. There are also additional analysis questions on the student notebook sheets for students to answer that are not in the student text. Students paste these notebook sheets into a composition notebook and complete their work there.

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

The projector notes are in PowerPoint and match the student notebook sheets so that you can complete notes along with your students if they require this added support.

The quizzes are completely editable in PowerPoint. Quiz answer keys are included for all quizzes.

FAQs:

Who's this for?

I wrote this curriculum for high school students not taking precalculus or calculus their senior year. 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 curriculum may work for them. However, I do feel that high school seniors will be most invested in learning this material.

Is it for a semester or for the year?

This curriculum does not contain activities outside of the student notebook sheets, so can possibly be completed in one semester if it is used alone.

How many licenses do I need?

This curriculum is licensed for 1 single teacher to use with his or her students year after year.

Do you have a printout that I can give to my administration for approval?

You can find a printout here to give to your administrator for approval.

Do you accept school purchase orders?

Yes! Please email me at shana@scaffoldedmath.com.

Will the curriculum be updated?

Yes, this curriculum will be updated every year to reflect changes to the way we file income tax returns. When the curriculum is ready to be redownloaded, you will receive an email from me with the redownload link.

Consumer math is such a fun and important course to teach, and I hope that your students thoroughly enjoy building their financial literacy with you!

The consumer math curriculum is available for download here on my website.

In this post, I want to link you to a few free back to school math classroom posters as well as a few ideas for the first days of school. Above is a Welcome, Math Person! poster to welcome your students back and to remind them that we are all math people.

Last week, I wrote a post about using a hole punch to find function inverses in the coordinate plane. A few people asked on Facebook if the process would also work for geometric reflections, and it absolutely does!

In this post I share an easy, hands-on method for demonstrating reflections and rotations of geometric shapes and their coordinates in the coordinate plane. The video included in the post covers reflecting over the x-axis, over the y-axis and over the line y = x. This same method will work for reflecting over any line of symmetry in the coordinate plane, even linear equations. I then share an idea for showing geometric rotations with a hole punch.

Are your algebra or algebra 2 students learning how to find inverse functions? Here's how to make the process of finding function inverses easy, visual and hands-on-- with a hole punch! This same process can also be used for reflecting any graph or geometric shape over the x-axis, y-axis, y = x or any other line of symmetry on the coordinate plane.

Fractional exponents (a.k.a. rational exponents) are a little weird. They force us to think backwards, to ask, "What number multiplied by itself yields the base?" If this questions sounds familiar, it's because we ask the same question when figuring out square roots (and other roots). Rational exponents are just another, calculator-friendly way of expressing roots.

Why is a number raised to the zero power equal to 1? And why do terms with negative exponents become fractions? Are we able to see this through visual models?

Yes!

In this short video, you'll see how exponents take on a pattern and can be modeled concretely with cut paper. We'll start with 3 raised to the 2nd power and work our way to 3 to the -2.