Is this Consumer Math Curriculum right for you and your students?
Updated: Jul 22, 2021
Let me take you back to a time before the Consumer Math curriculum existed. I was assigned to teach a ‘brand new’ class back in the day called Math 2 (yes, very specific) and was given little to no guidance on what to cover. I knew the class was going to be the next offering in the sequence of self contained math courses and was intended for 10th-12th grade students. While I didn’t appreciate the autonomy at the start, I grew to embrace the authority I had to teach what I thought was important for them to learn.
I didn’t use the term ‘consumer math’ for a few years, it was ‘real life’ math to me. I assumed that if I had to figure out the ‘math topic’ between graduating high school and now (I was still a young teacher at the time), then it was ‘real life.’
After some googling and such, I realized I could call the class concepts Consumer math or Financial Literacy. Since Financial Literacy seemed too abstract for my students, I decided on Consumer Math.
Boom! The Consumer Math Curriculum began to take shape! Click here to grab your Consumer Math Curriculum Bundle!
Teacher created AND classroom tested curriculum
25 lesson units ranging between 4-5 days for each lesson unit
Suggested teaching calendar (scope and sequence)
Materials with appropriate high school age visuals/font/colors (which I know is like the elusive loch ness monster)
The curriculum was developed for a high school age (10th-12 grade students) self-contained consumer math course. Ideally, students would possess basic computer and internet skills and the teacher would have a computer they can ink/write on (but not required) while projecting to a screen.
I knew that I thrived on consistency and routine and that my students would also benefit from knowing what each lesson would bring. Each Monday would look relatively similar, as would Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I structured the lesson units to last one week, with some weeks being 4 days long for holidays/conferences. I TRIED to organize the concepts so that the lesson units that naturally required less time to cover would land on the shorter weeks.
Each unit lesson has a Cover page so you can copy the notes and other materials and staple, 3-hole punch, and organize them in a binder. Since you won’t need a standard textbook (yes, I can hear the administrators smile as I type that), a binder will be a great place to collect all the paper files. Most 5 day lessons look like this:
Day 1- Introduce
Cover page includes the learning objective and brain teaser
Reading passage (approximately 1 page narrative explaining the topic)
True False 5 question reading check
4 short response writing prompts
Day 2- Overview
General Notes (2 versions- open and guided)
Delve into the concept-Parts worksheet (more detailed notes page that incorporates visuals and examples)
Opportunity to share real artifacts (bills, coupons, etc)
Day 3- Guided Practice
Concept-appropriate activity with enough structure to support students as they first begin to apply their new knowledge
Day 4- Independent Application
Concept-appropriate activity that pushes students to use their newly acquired knowledge in real life like situations
Day 5- Review & Assess
16 task cards for review
5 question formal assessment
6 question functional math spiral
Vocabulary term word search (can also be used as homework BEFORE the lesson unit begins)
Dollars and Coins
Think of the Projects as an end of quarter exercise where students practice applying the skills they have learned.
The Projects are structured, come in two different levels that can be intermixed as students need, and customizable for each student, thus making it cheat-proof! Since each skill is assessed on a points basis, you are able to assess the student at the level they are at.
No, the Projects are not designed to be group projects, so each student is required to show you exactly what they know, have learned, and can find in their resources.
The Projects are a great test of how well students can use their resources (hello, executive functioning). Are their notes organized? Do they know where to find the answer they need? Can they generalize their learning to specific, personal (albeit hypothetical) situations?
This Is Right For You IF...
You want consistent structure for your students and yourself
Age appropriate visuals and streamlined worksheets
Activities for your students to apply their skills, not just regurgitate them
Predictable lesson units that are versatile enough to keep class fun and exciting (look for blog entries starting August 2020 for an in depth review of each lesson unit and ideas for making it unique and special in your classroom)
This Curriculum Is Not For You IF...
All (or the large majority) of your students are 4 year degree college bound students
The class reading average is at or above 9th grade level