Tag Archives: budget

Integrate Mathematics and Technology

Money Management and TechnoBudget

With essential curriculum to teach in addition to computer skills, teachers have to be creative and resourceful to ‘get it all done’. Then to ensure that students are engaged and interested adds another level of challenge!

TechnoBudget is a new release by TechnoKids Inc. created to meet all three objectives:

  • Teach fundamental mathematics expectations
  • Build spreadsheet skills
  • Hook students with meaningful, real world learning experiences

The activities in TechnoBudget develop financial literacy using a scenario that is understandable for young people. The project begins with students receiving an unexpected windfall for which they must create a budget. The budget must fall within specific restrictions. A pie graph is made to graphically depict the budget. Next, students go on a shopping spree using online resources. They organize, calculate, and graph the shopping plan. Finally, they write a report to justify their financial choices and share insights about money management.

Teach Fundamental Mathematics Expectations

  1. Problem Solving
    TechnoBudget follows a problem solving model. As they make their budgets and spending plans, students must apply critical thinking to organize their ideas, research purchasing options, compare choices, reflect upon their plan, and defend their reasoning. The report they write to justify their financial choices is the final communication step that reviews and explains how the solution was reached.
  2. Graphing
    Data management and probability is a core strand in the Mathematics curriculum. Students learn about gathering, organizing, and displaying data. When these learning expectations are applied to a real-life situation such as budgeting, shopping, and making a spending plan, students are much more likely to acquire the skills and understand their relevance.
  3. Money Management and Financial Literacy
    Children are consumers long before we teach them to be thoughtful, wise, and discriminating consumers. Giving them the skills to make good decisions about their spending and saving is essential. The math curriculum should include learning how to manage money responsibly. TechnoBudget begins with an activity where students gain insight into their own values and spending practices. They rate their habits to find out “Are you a spender or a saver?” As they design their own budget, following required restrictions, they build skills to make educated financial decisions. Optional extension activities include comparison shopping, consumer awareness, using a spreadsheet to calculate interest payments, and more.

Build Spreadsheet Skills
As students create the budget, spending plan, and write their financial report, they develop fundamental spreadsheet skills, including:

  • create and manage workbooks
  • insert, select, and format cells, rows, columns, and ranges
  • use Auto Fill to fill cells with a data series
  • produce, format, and label a pie and bar graph
  • use formulas and functions

Hook students with meaningful, real world learning experiences
Designing a budget is a real world experience, not to mention an essential life skill. Receiving an unexpected windfall of money appeals to anyone and engages students. And getting to plan a shopping spree in TechnoBudget will hook even the most reluctant learner!

Integrate mathematics and computer skills

Integrate mathematics and technology

Hook Students with TechnoBudget and Google Sheets

Money Management and TechnoBudget

Go on a shopping spree with TechnoBudget

You have received an unexpected windfall of money. How are you going to spend it? How much will you save? This is the introductory premise for students in TechnoBudget, TechnoKids’ most recent release in the Google Apps for Education series of computer projects.

Building student interest in learning spreadsheet skills may be a challenge. But using a fun, meaningful, and appealing scenario will engage students and give context to their learning. If students find a task personally relevant, they are much more likely to feel motivated, become emotionally invested, and understand the value of the skills they are learning.

In TechnoBudget, students draft a budget, develop a spending plan, go on an online shopping spree, and then justify their financial choices using Google Sheets and Docs.

The project begins with students rating their personal money management style. They find out if they are spenders or savers. Next they receive a fictional windfall. They must create a budget worksheet in Google Sheets within specific requirements for spending categories and saving. Making a pie graph of their decisions allows them to easily edit the amounts.

A spending plan worksheet is then created to keep track of purchases, taxes, category subtotals, and overspending. Spreadsheet skills introduced in TechnoBudget include:

  • use Auto Fill
  • format font, fill cells with color, and apply borderlines
  • merge cells
  • apply conditional formatting
  • copy formatting using Paint Format
  • produce and format a pie and column or bar graph
  • sum data using AutoSum
  • use formulas and functions

The project concludes with a financial report. Students use Google Docs to justify their decision making. Guiding questions help students explain their choices and share their insights about money management. They include the graphs they have made to support their decisions.
int-budget-3-Justify-Financial-Choices

In addition, TechnoBudget includes a variety of optional, enrichment activities to extend learning about spreadsheets and about financial literacy:

  1. Comparison shopping
  2. Use functions to analyze data
  3. Filter and sort
  4. Calculate with if-then formulas
  5. Explore debt repayment
  6. Develop consumer awareness
  7. Draw money idioms

TechnoBudget includes a teacher guide, digital student worksheets, sample workbooks and budget reports, checklist, and marking sheets.