Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Teach Math Well: Can I Afford a College Education?

After vacation I will focus the math teaching and learning on problem solving and decimal computation related to fifth grade common core standards. As I do this, I'd like to tie the activities together with a theme. A great theme for this unit is financial literacy, and a great topic within this is how to afford a college education.

Just this week Massachusetts' Governor Baker announced a new way to afford a college education (described below). Then I was looking up other ways to afford a college education. I'll do more research and then created a host of activities that match the standards as well as teach students this information. I think it's a good idea to let students understand financial considerations such as a college education at a young age. Just think I may have a student that is so inspired by the prospect of receiving a college education for free or a reduced cost that they work smarter and better. There could be others that open a UFund earlier than later and watch their savings grow.

There's many opportunities to make math learning rich and deep and meet the standards too. When we miss out on these opportunities, we miss out on the opportunity to show students just how important and valuable mathematical thinking, knowledge, and skill is.

College Funding News from DESE:
Governor Baker has a message for graduating high school seniors and their families: The state will help them save an average of 40 percent off the cost of a traditional bachelor's degree if students can attend college full-time and graduate within four and a half years. Through the Commonwealth Commitment, students start at one of Massachusetts' 15 community colleges, then transfer to a state university or UMass campus and continue full time. Students who enroll receive a 10 percent per-semester rebate, a tuition credit worth an average of $1,200, and a freeze on mandatory fees — leading to an associate degree and a bachelor's degree at an average cost of $28,618 before financial aid. Help spread the word!