Mathematics through money
This list has been created to support the teaching and learning of mathematics through the context of money.
Links and Resources
Being financially capable means having the confidence, skills and knowledge we need to manage money well, now and in the future. The development of financial capability is life-long and includes the ability to adapt the approach to money management in response to changes in personal and financial circumstances.
Sections entitled Practical links and teaching contexts and Teaching opportunities consider where in the mathematics curriculum links can be made to financial management. Good practice for financial education across curriculum considers the role senior leaders and teachers can play in the delivery of financial education.
In this Study Plus unit from the National Strategies students investigate buying and using an MP3 player. They consider best buys and compare different MP3 players, using proportional reasoning.
This video resource from Teachers TV is filmed in a shopping mall and raises quick-fire starter questions.
Percentages: Price Discount on Suitcase
Students are given the original price of a suitcase and challenged to find its sale price after a 20% reduction.
Percentages: VAT on Suitcase
The first challenge in this clip is to calculate what the VAT charge would be for an amount of money, without using a calculator, whilst the second is to work out the VAT aspect of a price.
Value for Money: Boxes of Teabags
This is a starter on best buy. Isaac demonstrates two techniques which can be used, depending on the values provided. The first uses values which have a direct ratio, whilst the second requires unit pricing.
Value for Money: Mobile Phone Tariffs
Using graphs, a pay as you go tariff is compared to a monthly deal, plotting minutes against cost, to see which is the better option.
This Free-standing Mathematics Activity from the Nuffield Foundation is designed as a game to give students practice in working with money, entering items onto a bank statement and calculating the balance.
To play the game, cards are placed face down in a pile. Students then take turns to turn over a card, enter the value in the correct column of the bank statement, and work out the balance. The winner is the person with the highest balance when the cards run out.
This resource from the Nuffield Foundation provides simulated information regarding an invoice, phone bill and bank statement. Each document contains several errors and students will have to check the details carefully to establish the correct values. Copies of the invoice, phone bill and bank statement with gaps for students to fill with the correct amounts are also provided.
This MEP resource from CIMT is taken from text book 8B which covers the mathematics scheme of work for the second half of year 8.
Money and Time covers: basic arithmetic with money, problems involving time and time zones and problems that involve both time and money.
In this activity from stats4schools, students investigate how families spend their money by using a Family Spending report. Students plot appropriate graphs using ICT, interpret data from tables and graphs and understand where the average family spend their money including looking at the cost of living. Students should also begin to consider personal finances and how to manage money.
The material in this Century Maths Focus book is aimed at lower achieving students. The approach uses simple puzzles and activities to practice concepts in a more interesting manner than routine exercises.
Money, money, money – applications include pocket money, value for money, supermarket shopping and bills
This NRICH maths activity starts with a simple situation which can be analysed quickly using mental methods, but which provides a starting point for tackling a more challenging problem.
The challenge of finding a connection between the number of children, the amount of money they each receive, and the fraction used to share the money available can be tackled at many different levels, using trial and improvement (perhaps using spreadsheets), looking for number patterns, or with a more formal algebraic approach.
From the Integrating Mathematical Problem Solving project by Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), this activity shows how, when introducing a new way of doing things, it is useful to model how it is likely to work. When comparing the value of money over a period of years, inflation needs to be taken into account. The mathematical ideas covered are:
• Statistical modelling
• Percentage change