Texas Mathematics Teacher Spring/Summer 2022 - 29

Financial Literacy in the Primary Grades: Investing in Students' Futures
all of their $5, however they must buy at least one main
dish, side dish, and drink per meal. Students determine
that they have a dollar a day to spend, and an assumption
is clarified that they may use less than a dollar per day,
but not more to avoid the use of decimals. We also discuss
what happens to the leftover money if less than $5 is
spent. This leads to a conversation about how money can
be saved and accumulated over time (11A) and that if a
little is saved each week, that money can be collected for
a future purchase (11B). I then pass out activity cards that
list each food choice and price (Figure 2). Students are
required to make a plan for every day, calculating the cost
of the items purchased (5A, B). A collection of coins can
be used as manipulatives to help students add the total
for the day's lunch and also as a method for finding out
how much money they would have leftover if they did not
spend their whole dollar.
Students are then tasked with creating their own product
and researching the cost of materials that were needed
for its construction (11F). They are encouraged to use
their creativity while considering what someone might be
interested in buying. This activity can become a fantastic
problem based learning STEAM (science, technology,
engineering, arts, mathematics) project if time permits.
Students are finally required to present their product to
the class to encourage them to become investors (think
Shark Tank)!
Conclusion
Financial education does not have to be an additional
stress for mathematics educators, but rather an opportunity
to enrich the mathematics using authentic financial
situations. Texas recognizes the importance of teaching
financial literacy by including these concepts and skills
within their TEKS. My research also shows that other K-2
teachers believe in the importance of teaching financial
literacy. By beginning the instruction on money skills
and concepts early in a multidisciplinary learning environment,
the impact can be great on students' abilities to
grow into financially literate adults. Though these activities
are geared towards K-2, many of them can be adapted
and expanded upon to be educationally appropriate for
older students.
Figure 2. Activity cards with items and prices.
An extension to this activity could involve the creation of
a bank account. We would explore how, like a lunch account,
money would need to be deposited into an account
in order for us to withdraw it when making a purchase
(11C). This extension provides the students the opportunity
to practice addition and subtraction skills in the
context of a financial situation (4A) and an open number
line can be created to model the deposits and withdrawals
(2E, F). For this extension, whole numbers should be used
and students should be encouraged to use mathematical
process strategies.
Another activity to emphasize the importance of financial
literacy in economics is to have the students become entrepreneurs
of a product that they have created. The activity
begins with a discussion about the difference between
a producer and a consumer (11F). Many examples are
shared of how we are consumers of products often advertised
to entice us into purchasing. We talk about how
the process starts when someone has an idea for a product.
They must then calculate how much it would cost to
produce that product and how they might need to borrow
money in order to start their business. We investigate how
the sales from the product must be successful in order to
pay back the lender (11D, E).
www.tctmonline.org
Spring/Summer 2022 | 29
Lindsay A. Gold, Ph.D.
lgold1@udayton.edu
Department of Teacher Education
University of Dayton
https://www.tctmonline.org/

Texas Mathematics Teacher Spring/Summer 2022

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http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/68-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/67-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/66-02
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http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/65-02
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https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/txmt/64-1
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