Last Spring I blogged about a project I was working on for a grad school class. It was my first attempt at writing a PBL type project, as opposed to what we used to call projects when I was a kid but was basically a diorama or something. That original blog shares the documents I was using and my brainstorming.
Finally, I implemented that project this past semester. This post is to share the docs that I used and shared with my students. My next blog post will share the feedback from the students as well as my own reflections on the project.
In the Fall, we do a systems of equations investigation on Minimum Wage vs. Living Wage that was created by Brad Latimer at Science Leadership Academy. This gets the conversation about finances going. My students talk about money type things a lot. Then, to start the exponential unit in the Spring, we do the Loan Ranger activity from Mathalicious. I love this activity and have used it twice. Such a great way for students to see how exponential growth can work against you. I would plan 2 days for the Loan Ranger Activity. We only have 50 minute classes, so I cannot get it done well in one class period. This creates the finance talk in earnest.
Next, I used a randomizer to pair students and told them this would be their partner for the Investment Project. Since the majority of people retire as couples, I wanted them to think about retirement planning as a couple. I loved this wording and can’t take credit. The amazing Jennifer D. Klein of World Leadership School came up with that one and gave me incredible feedback before I implemented the project.
Here is my original planning doc that shows my thinking and changes as I worked on it myself and with Jennifer’s feedback. I was going to have less days than my original plan called for so I had to consider what changes to make for a shorter time period. In my next post, I’ll reflect on how that went.
I shared this slide on day 1 of the project to go over the differences in time in saving & growth. The info is from Dave Ramsey.
On Day 1 of the project, the students got this handout both physically and electronically giving them the details of the project. They also got this rubric both physically and electronically. You’ll notice that the rubric doesn’t give descriptors for the lowest or the highest end. This is also due to my work with Jennifer. Students needed to make a case for why they deserved the highest score on the rubric. Additionally, I made the points such that it was basically 50%, 70%, 85%, 100% for each item on the rubric. Too often rubrics don’t consider percentages and student scores are artificially low.
Part #2 will share student work and feedback.
Part #3 will share my reflections