# Teaching Money Applications to Make Mathematics Meaningful Grades 7- 12

###### Elizabeth Marquez and Paul Westbrook
Publisher:
Corwin Press
Publication Date:
2007
Number of Pages:
152
Format:
Paperback
Price:
29.95
ISBN:
9781412941396
Category:
Monograph
[Reviewed by
Mark Bollman
, on
10/12/2007
]

When I work with future teachers in my Mathematics for Elementary Teachers class, they often put together lesson plans dealing with money, on the sensible grounds that this concrete application will help draw their future students into learning mathematics. In Teaching Money Applications, we find that same mindset taken to the second half of the K-12 curriculum.

This is not a textbook; it falls more under the heading of a “resource guide” for teachers interested in infusing some lessons on money into their mathematics lessons. Toward that end, it is organized around financial topics rather than mathematical concepts, which gets a bit confusing at times. For example: The first chapter, which deals with buying a car, starts out with some simple arithmetic calculations and then leaps into quadratic regression of miles per gallon figures — with a graphing calculator used as a “black box” to perform the regression. Chapter 2, on savings plans, then is back doing only straightforward arithmetic.

To the authors’ credit, they have resisted the temptation to “black-box” every complicated statistical calculation. Correlation coefficients, for example, are calculated (for small data sets) with tables of values and the standard formula with all of its sums. The applications are good ones, with clear importance to students’ futures — savings plans, credit card debt, and taxes are all covered. The book then goes on to include a brief discussion of simple economic principles and what goes into a business plan, thus helping to drive home the message that mathematics is a subject that finds its way into all kinds of professions.

In the hands of a careful teacher, this book could be a fine addition to a middle or high school math class.

Mark Bollman (mbollman@albion.edu) is an associate professor of mathematics at Albion College in Michigan. His mathematical interests include number theory, probability, and geometry. His claim to be the only Project NExT fellow (Forest dot, 2002) who has taught both English composition and organic chemistry to college students has not, to his knowledge, been successfully contradicted. If it ever is, he is sure that his experience teaching introductory geology will break the deadlock.

 Foreword by Charlotte Danielson
 Introduction
 Math Locator
 1. Cars, Cars, and More Cars: Paying for Your Wheels
 NCTM Standards Applied in This Chapter
 Teaching Example 1.1. Car Costs
 Teaching Example 1.2. MPG Plus
 Teaching Example 1.3. Buy or Lease
 2. Savings: Reality Check and the Difference Between Needs and Wants
 NCTM Standards Applied in This Chapter
 Background: Basics of Savings
 Teaching Example 2.1. Budgets and Savings
 Teaching Example 2.2. Future Value: A Geometric Sequence
 Teaching Example 2.3. Annuities: A Geometric Series
 3. Credit Cards and Debt Management: Using Credit Seems Unreal
 NCTM Standards Applied in This Chapter
 Background: Basics of Credit and Debit Cards
 Teaching Example 3.1. Calculating Minimum Monthly Payments
 Teaching Example 3.2. Credit Card Payoff: A Spreadsheet
 4. Investments: The Basics and More
 NCTM Standards Applied in This Chapter
 Background: Basics of Investments
 Teaching Example 4.1. Stock Prices and Percents
 Teaching Example 4.2: Analyzing Graphs of Stock Prices
 Teaching Example 4.3. Statistics of Stock I: Measures of Center, Standard Deviation, Normal Distribution
 Teaching Example 4.4. Statistics of Stock II: Weighted Average, Correlation, Line of Best Fit
 5. Buying a House Versus Renting: How Much Will It Cost?
 NCTM Standards Applied in This Chapter
 Background: Basics of Buying a House and Renting an Apartment
 Teaching Example 5.1. Budgeting for a Down Payment
 Teaching Example 5.2. Determining Mortgage Payments: Tables, Formulas, Spreadsheets
 Teaching Example 5.3. Principal and Interest Functions
 6. Taxes: How They Work
 NCTM Standards Applied in This Chapter
 Background: Basics of Income Taxes--Federal and State
 Teaching Example 6.1. Income Tax and FICA
 Teaching Example 6.2. Capital Gains and Losses
 Teaching Example 6.3. How Uncle Sam Uses Tax Dollars
 7. Economics: Supply and Demand, Inflation, and the GDP
 NCTM Standards Applied in This Chapter
 Background: Economics, Supply and Demand, Inflation, and the GDP
 Teaching Example 7.1. Supply and Demand Functions
 Teaching Example 7.2.: Inflation and the GDP