This course was an exercise on designing a Project Based Lesson. The benefit to students is that it is real-world applicable, interesting, and open ended. Students progress through the project at their own pace, collecting information as they go that determines the path they take to solve the problem. For my project, I created an extension to our end-of-the-year Financial Literacy unit we do after our Math Placement testing. The project required students to choose a car to purchase, provide a rationale, and prepare a financial accounting of how they would purchase the car including calculating the monthly payment.
The project that was created is presented here. I taught this lesson to my 6th grade class. If you end up using it in your class, please tell me how it goes - what worked, what challenges you found, or any additional resources you would have liked to have. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jendeeaz. I would love to hear your feedback!
This is an example of exemplary student work. We only had a couple of weeks to complete this project, so there is certainly some room for improvement, but I was really proud of all my students because they were able to support their decision with reasons and evidence. However, sometimes the math calculations did not mirror reality. It would be helpful to have students actually look at a loan document to see the breakdown. They could make their own itemized loan document in Sheets. Another idea for improving this project would be to find an expert to speak to the students about loan financing, costs, and fees that influence the monthly payment. These would be some modifications I would make the next time I do this project with my class.
Here is the rubric the students were graded on.