Real Way to Moolah Beach!
Read the Review
Students and adults alike have difficulties managing money. This
program doesn't pretend to take the place of a financial analyst, but
it does provide key insight into the basics of managing your money.
Students learn about checkbook accounts and the basics of
accounting. They are given transactions and learn how to register
those transactions accordingly. As a culminating assignment, students
are given an imaginary initial balance of three thousand dollars. They
first create a budget and then go online to acquire as many useful
goods as their money will allow. All spending must be justified using
sound criteria that a knowledgeable consumer would use, such as
obtaining a number of price quotes first, comparing specials versus
normal price, trying to acquire directly from dealers, obtaining extra
perks for purchases, etc. Through this exercise, students learn the
intricacies in decision making. Knowing that the consumer price index
affects the real value of their money and maintaining a spreadsheet
help them understand the importance of wisely administering money.
Going online and being able to calculate the value of their money
helps students open their eyes to this reality. The sooner they
learn how to manage their money wisely, the sooner they will be
prepared for life. And in the end, isn't this the purpose of education?
Students use symbolic forms to represent and analyze mathematical
situations, and apply a wide variety of strategies to solve problems
and adapt the strategies to new situations. They organize and
consolidate their mathematical thinking to communicate with others,
recognize and use connections among different mathematical ideas, and
understand how mathematical ideas build on one another. They
recognize, use, and learn about mathematics in contexts outside of
A computer with Internet connection, a projector, and a television
Students should have some basic knowledge of computers,
specifically word processing and spreadsheet software. This program is
intended for eighth grade and above, but can also be done with highly
motivated seventh grade students. Students can work on this project
individually, but may work in cooperative groups as well. This project
can also be done with 12th grade students or adults. You can focus
more on the math involved in finance for these age groups.
In The Real Way To Moolah Beach! students and adults learn
the value of their money as well as what it takes to be a smart
consumer. Students are given the opportunity to visit stores and
"shop" online. It gives them an idea as to why some people
take a considerable amount of time before purchasing something and why
others make quick purchases and regret them later on. Students will
enjoy doing many things they have done before under a new light while
learning many new concepts. Students visit a bank and learn the basics
of what goes on. This program is a lesson in life--and isn't this the
true purpose of the existence of schools!
If you have the opportunity and the appropriate software
(WebWhacker), download some useful Web pages and have them ready for
your students. This is a broad unit, so don't feel that you have
to follow everything word for word. I have found that some groups pick
up some concepts quicker than others and thus I spend less time on
concepts, while others need to spend more time than planned. Check the
unit for more tips.
About the teacher:
Anthony Salcedo is laptop coordinator at the Mott Hall School, the
first inner city public school to start a laptop program. At the school,
every student carries a laptop computer. He was one of the keynote
speakers at the Microsoft Laptop Summit 2000 in Seattle, Washington.
He has also presented at other technology conferences around the
country and has received recognition from two superintendents for his
achievements. Anthony is also a certified NFTE instructor and has
worked as a translator in the Caribbean for a division of the United
Nations. He is currently an adjunct professor at NYU and is in his
10th year of teaching in the NYC public schools system.