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SWBAT: • Define budget and income • Calculate monthly income • Create a budget for spending

Big Idea

What is a budget? How do we use it and why is it important? Students work on these questions in the context of the College Project.

Do Now

5 minutes

See my Do Now in my Strategy folder that explains my beginning of class routines.

Often, I create do nows that have problems that connect to the task that students will be working on that day.  Here I want students to apply their percent skills.  Some students may use division. Some students may calculate an easier percent to start with and work from there.  I ask students to share out their thinking.  


5 minutes

I explain that needs are things that you feel you must have.  Wants are things that you feel are nice to have.  I have students participate in a Think Write Pair ShareI ask students to quickly share out their ideas. It is interesting to hear what students want to do with their money.  After yesterday’s lesson (Loans and Savings) some students may even say they are going to save it! Win! :)

Brain Pop Video

7 minutes

Needs vs Wants

5 minutes

I explain that needs are things that you feel you must have.  Wants are things that you feel are nice to have.  I have students participate in a Think Write Pair Share.  I ask students to quickly share out their ideas. Some students will list a cell phone as a need, while others will argue it is a want.  Students may also debate other issues like clothes.  I have had students share that clothes would be both, since you need a basic amount of clothes and then there are clothes that you don’t really need, but you want them.

I have students brainstorm reasons why they might have a short, medium, and long-term savings goal.

Creating a Budget

15 minutes

I have a volunteer read about Nathan.  I ask students to identify 100% and 0% of his monthly income.  From there, how could we figure out 50%?  10%?  It is important that students are always checking their amounts to see if they are reasonable.  Should 9% be more or less money than 10% of his monthly income?

What are other expenses that will be easier to find?  Students will respond that since we know 10% of his income, 5% and 30% are easy.  I have students work in partners to figure out 9%, 14%, and 7%.  I walk around and monitor student progress.

Students may struggle at first, and that is okay.  Students are engaging with MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.  A common mistake is that students may divide the monthly income incorrectly.  For example, they may divide the income by 7 to find 7%.  If I see this, I ask what 7% means?  What is 10% of his monthly income?  Should 7% of his monthly income be more or less money than $250?  Why?  What is 5% of his monthly income?  How do you know?  What % would we have to add to 5% to get 7%?  Is there a way you can figure out what 1% of his monthly income is?

We come back together to share out strategies on finding budget amounts.  I have a few students come to the front to show and explain their work. 

I ask how we can check that we didn’t miss anything?  I want students to realize that if we add up all of our budget amounts it should add up to $2500.  If it doesn’t, we have made a mistake.  


15 minutes

Students move on to problems 2 and 3.  Students work independently.  I Post A Key so students can check their work.  I walk around and monitor student progress.  I am looking to see what strategies students are using.  What % are they most comfortable working with?  Which % are causing problems?  I use these observations to inform my questions in the lesson closure.

If students are struggling, I may intervene in the following ways:

  • Have the student set up the percent ruler with what they know.  Work to find 50%, 10%, and 5% first.
  • Give students a calculator to check their work.
  • Pull a small group to work together.

If students successfully complete their work they can work on the budget section of the College Project.

Closure and Homework

8 minutes

 For Closure I ask my students to explain in their own words what is a budget.  Why is creating a budget important?  I remind them that it isn’t enough to actually make a plan, they have to actually do it.  I ask students to share ideas about what they could do to make sure that they actually follow a budget.  If I have time I show them websites like mint.com, where you can create a budget, make goals, and track your spending and saving.

There will probably be students who have unanswered questions (either during the Closure or at an earlier point in this lesson).  I give these students post-its to post their question on the Project Parking Lot.

Instead of giving a ticket to go, I collect their work on problems 2 and 3 to analyze.  For homework, I tell students that they need to work on the Budget pages in their College Project.  They should complete page 7 and start page 8.  They will have to pick which job they want to have from the options on the “Working During College” pages.  Option A is easier to create a budget, where as Option B and C will involve rounding to the nearest penny.