Functional Maths Money
Whether you teach maths with a separate functional skills qualification, or whether it's embedded in the maths specification you teach, it's clear that pupils need more opportunities to work on their problem solving skills, communicate their mathematical thinking, complete extended tasks or group activities, and also consider maths in context. I have found it difficult to find activities that have the right balance of problem solving, mathematical theory and real life relevance. Therefore this list pulls together resources that can be used either in the maths classroom or if teaching functional skills.
Links and Resources
This resource brings in two key functional maths topics: time and money. Pupils have to extract data from a variety of sources, and schedule appointments for customers with varying requirements. They also need to work out the cost of each treatment, including any percentage discounts. If you are focusing on money, you may wish to pose some of the extension questions e.g. "which customer would bring the most money to the salon on an annual basis?"
The first section of this resource focuses on money, for example arithmetic with decimals, calculating change, unit costs and special offers. Money is a key topic in the new style GCSE exams, with questions including comparing the costs of two different holidays or working out which offer is the best value. The "money and time" file can be used as a workbook for pupils, the "extra exercises" file is a more compact version, "overhead slides" is actually very useful for worksheets, and "mental tests" can be given verbally or adapted to be used as class tests.
I originally found this resource whilst looking for functional projects to deliver to KS4. I decided it was a little too difficult for my group, in terms of the jargon used within it, and would therefore suit slightly more able students. However, I chose to include it within this list due to the potential for it to be a cross curricular project, currently a focus within our school. Pupils have to look at increasing fuel efficiency in a fleet of lorries by choosing from various modifications. Information has been provided by the Department of Transport.
Although this resource was designed for pupils aged 9 to 11, I would use this with my low ability KS4 classes. This would make an ideal starter activity to get pupils' brains warmed up, by using basic mental arithmetic, money, and problem solving skills.
Although this resource was designed for pupils aged 9 to 11, I would use this with my low ability KS4 classes. There are two activities that would make ideal starters for a money or functional skills lesson, and one activity on tangrams and area.
We cannot expect pupils to work comfortably with money if they are not confident with their basic numeracy, for example adding & subtracting decimals; multiplying & dividing decimals by powers of 10, integers or other decimals; long multiplication and worded problems involving money. This resource covers all of these aspects. The file "arithmetic: revision" could be used as a mini workbook for pupils, as it has worked examples and guidance throughout, the "extra exercises" file is a more compact version. "Overhead slides" is useful for worksheets, and the "mental tests" can either be delivered verbally as they were designed for, or if you print one copy out, use corrector fluid on the answers then photocopy, you have quickly got a class set of tests.
This NRICH activity is perfect for projecting up on the board as a starter problem as pupils enter. They need to be able to calculate simple fractions of amounts and calculate how much people get if a sum of money is shared out. It also comes with a solution file, saving time for teachers.
Pupils have to choose which special offer would be best for the business, and also which would be the best one to choose from the customer's perspective. It also touches on why do businesses offer free gifts and would be a brilliant cross curricular activity between maths and business studies, or in enterprise week.