Mathalicious (follow on twitter @Mathalicious) is committed to providing engaging lessons based in real-world contexts. Mathalicious has a couple great lessons that explore mathematical ideas using a real-world financial context. What I like about these lessons are that they are a true marriage of mathematical ideas (they are all aligned to the Common Core State Standards) and genuine exploration of the financial concepts as well.

One example great example is Big Foot Conspiracy, in which students examine the pricing structure of shoes by looking at the cost of children’s vs. adult’s shoes and if it makes sense that a size 6 shoe should really cost the same as a size 11 shoe. Through this exploration students plot data, look at linear and non-linear relationship and compare unit pricing by weight. This lesson helps potential entrepreneurs think about setting prices based on the cost of materials and whether or not potential customers might respond well to various pricing schemes.

A couple others I like are: Go Big Papa in which you explore how good pizza deals really are and iCost which explores whether or not the pricing scheme of apple products is linear. Also keep an eye out for Tip Jar which will be back up shortly, but is being updated as we speak. In Tip Jar, students explore the mathematical concepts of proportional relationships using tables, graphs and equations, solve ratio and percent problems and they also explore not just how to calculate a tip, but also how tipping works in different countries in terms of the percentage of the wait-staff’s salary that is based on tips. Too often I have found that many real world based lessons stop at the tip calculation, the lessons on this site dig deeper and offer opportunities to make real connections between mathematics, financial options and financial decision making.