Real-World Math Lessons for Middle Schoolers

Middle school math teacher, Mo Gibbs, teamed up with Rashi’s Controller, Paula Markman, to bring real-life scenarios to their studies of percentages and compound interest. Students were given families, incomes, and homes and based on these parameters, have been asked to calculate their life expenses including life insurance, mortgage payments, navigating buying a new car, and managing their credit cards. 

“This is a new project this year, and I really want them to have fun with this,” Mo explained. “So, I gave them reasonable incomes and real-world family structures so they can understand the types of financial decisions adults make all the time.”

On the day that students were charged with purchasing a car, they were asked to consider questions like how many miles they would drive in a week, month, and year. A task that anyone applying for car insurance would find themselves calculating. Using their chosen car’s fuel economy, they calculated their gas budgets. They also calculated the amount that they would ultimately pay by the time their family paid off their auto loan – a great way to understand concepts in compound interest.

“The students have been coming to my office to ask for help,” Paula recalled. “It really lights up my day!”

Learn more about the Middle School at Rashi.

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