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Capstone Project EDAM5039


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Algebra I students had to create a personal budget for living on their own. They had to present it in a PowerPoint format and include an Excel Pie Chart.

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Capstone Project EDAM5039

  1. 1. Problem Solving 1
  2. 2. Problem Solving 2 Abstract: The purpose of this project is to focus on helping students become better problem solvers. In the recent advancement of developing mathematical concepts to model real-world situations, problem solving techniques have become the focus of attention for school districts across the country. This project will have students take on the role of creating a real life budget, using percents, based upon their desired profession and income. Rationale The purpose of this project will be to describe the effects that integrating problem solving situations into the mathematical curriculum has on the transfer of knowledge to real world situations along with the retention of mathematical skills. I am extremely passionate about this project because students need to realize that just because a situation is not clear cut with one correct answer easily obtained, they have to formulate different strategies that result in good decisions for that situation. This is how the real world operates. Planning a monthly budget can be particularly important for students to be able to know how to create. Often students have unrealistic expectations about earning a living once they leave high school. They tend to underestimate the extent of everyday living expenses. Building a monthly budget, using actual expenses, will prove to be an important lesson on life skills in mathematics. By transferring this activity to a PowerPoint presentation, students can adjust their budget, play with presentation effects, and make plans for long- term changes such as adjusting for having a family. They will also incorporate a pie chart, done in Excel, to represent the major portions of their monthly expenses.
  3. 3. Problem Solving 3 Objectives The program goals of the 21st century skills that my project will focus on are: 1. Learning by doing- Students will learn how to research and organize data (through PowerPoint and Word) using the basic operations in the context of planning, and be able to ask “what if” questions. 2. Using information- Students will use information obtained from various websites and produce a PowerPoint representation of their monthly budget. They will also use Excel to produce a pie chart representing their monthly expense percentages. 3. Facilitator- The educator will serve as a facilitator, walking around the room, while students research information on the laptop computers. 4. Flexible grouping configuration based on Individual student needs- Students will be able to use other members of the class to pull upon resources, information, ideas that will enhance their presentation. 5. Multiple instructional and learning modalities to include all students- Students will be able to create this budget based upon their career objective. 6. Higher Order thinking skills- Students must use higher order thinking skills when creating this budget because they must begin by researching how to obtain the career they want account for, the educational costs that will incur, and then create a budget based upon where and how they want to live their lives. 7. Collaboration- Collaboration will take place at the beginning of the project, where the class will discuss different methods to reduce expenses, such as, getting a roommate to share rent and utilities, using the bus, bicycle, or other mode of transportation based on where they live, waiting to make a major purchase of
  4. 4. Problem Solving 4 something that they do not really need but want (fancy rims, snowboard, the Wii) and the possibility of living at home once they graduate to save money. We will also discuss the possibility of having to pay doctor’s bills, car repairs, and possible job bonuses and how that would affect their monthly expenses. At the end of the project the students will be given the chance to collaborate through an online wiki discussion about how the project went, would could be better, and what they learned by doing this type of project. 8. Performance-based assessments- The assessment will be a PowerPoint representation graded through two types of rubrics; a oral presentation, in which each student will evaluate each other; and a content rubric, in which I will grade the overall content and presentation of the material. 9. Multiple sources of information, including technology- Students will be able to access any information needed through the Internet on a laptop computer. I will also suggest using phone books, the classified section of the newspaper, a copy of their parent’s utility bill, and other people in their profession, as an aid in helping them create this project. 10. Teachers addressing the learning styles of all learners- All learning styles will be addressed through this project because of the broadness in scope. It leaves room for students to explore what they want to accomplish, how they want to accomplish it, and how to present it. 11. Using a variety of types of information to complete authentic projects- This, again, will be learned through broadness in scope of the project.
  5. 5. Problem Solving 5 12. Learning how to learn- Students must learn how to research, organize, compile, and present their budget without one set of instructions. Problem solving forms part of thinking. It is considered the most complex of all intellectual functions and has been defined as a higher-order cognitive process. Teachers in today’s society need to be the facilitators for students to show them how to proceed from a given state of a problem to a desired goal. The large part of teaching problem solving is the method by which educators teach problem finding and problem shaping to our students. Giving students the necessary guidelines, strategies, and materials, educators can help teach good problem solving techniques to our students that will carry them through similar situations in the real world. Strategy With the evolution of 21st century skills needed for the average student entering in the workforce, problem solving has become one of the top qualifications that employers are looking for in an individual. Teaching students the correct process for going about problem solving situations and having them become proactive learners will in fact initiate individual inquiry. This, in turn, will help each individual strive to possess the best problem solving strategies needed for this ever changing atmosphere. On the first day of the project, the class will discuss the need to work from realistic incomes. Since there are a variety of sources, we will talk about the assignment through a KWL chart. Students will begin to collect their information for the start of this project after the class clarifies major aspects of the assignment. Throughout the assignment, the educator will act as facilitator to help them narrow down any research problems, questions along the way, and assist any other difficulties the
  6. 6. Problem Solving 6 students may be experiencing. The entire project, with one day of presentations, should take a week’s time. Resources To get some of the students started, the educator has posted four websites on her blog spot page. They are listed below: 1. This website allows students to investigate the salaries of different profession. 2. This website gives general information about buying a car and some range of prices per car choice. 3. This website outlines the general guidelines when buying a house. Since not all students will be purchasing a house, and the interest rate varies per state, this is just general information that they should know about making an important purchase. 4. This website will discuss as a class before the beginning of the project. It is a step by step process on how to create a pie chart in Excel. It will be made readily available for access throughout the project on the educator’s blog spot page. Desired Outcomes The desired outcomes of this project are as follows: Students will: 1. Learn various expenses that go into creating a real life budget. 2. Learn how to use a budget plan to find the amount of money to be budgeted for each expense category. 3. Compute quantities that include whole numbers, decimals, and percents.
  7. 7. Problem Solving 7 4. Gather data from various sources, the Internet being the primary sources. 5. Construct a real life budget, through a PowerPoint presentation, and present in front of their class. 6. Use an Excel spreadsheet to model their expenses and create a Pie Chart as representation. 7. Estimate results of computations and make adjustments throughout the project by asking “what if” questions. Timeline Day 1: Students will be introduced to the budget project by reading aloud the project requirements and grading rubric. The discussion will then lead into the KWL process, so as to understand and/or clarify any questions, misconceptions, requirements of what is expected of them. Day 2: Research on the laptop for information. Teacher making sure to monitor and check student progress sheet. Day 3: Research on the laptop for information. Teacher making sure to monitor and check student progress sheet. Day 4: Research on the laptop for information. Teacher making sure to monitor and check student progress sheet. Day 5: Compile information and start PowerPoint slide presentation. Teacher making sure to monitor and check student progress sheet. Day 6: Compile information and start PowerPoint slide presentation. Teacher making sure to monitor and check student progress sheet. Day 7: Compile information and start PowerPoint slide presentation. Teacher making sure to monitor and check student progress sheet. Day 8: Present projects in class. Day 9: Present projects in class. Day 10: Discuss “What I Learned” in KWL chart. Have them complete online Wiki journal activity about their personal experiences concerning this project.
  8. 8. Problem Solving 8 The evaluation process of this project will be in rubric format. The students will be provided with a Progress Sheet, which is similar to the final grading rubric, to ensure that the progress they are making complies with the grading procedure. Grading will done through a PowerPoint presentation rubric with eight categories and based on a four-point scale.
  9. 9. Problem Solving 9 Students will use this checklist to ensure that their final PowerPoint presentation is complete and correct. The checklist is similar to the rubric by which their presentation will be graded. POWERPOINT PRESENTATION TITLE___________________________________ DATE: ______________________ NAME: _________________________________________________________________ CATEGORY: RESPONSIBILITIES: 1. Content 1a. The information was interesting or important to others 1b. I was well informed about the topic 1c. I included reliable, factual information 1d. I added supportive detail to the main point(s) 1e. I utilized technological resources for support 2. Organization 2a. I organized ideas in a logical way 2b. the information and arguments/details were easy to understand 2c. I stayed focused and did not get off topic 2d. the introduction included a clear statement of the main point(s) 2e. I included a strong conclusion 3. Visual Aids/ 3a. Pictures/graphics enhanced the main points Technology Usage 3b. Pictures/graphics and their placement were creative 3c. Letters/Fonts were easily viewed and read by audience 3d. Slides contained no spelling/grammatical errors 4. Delivery 4a. I maintained eye contact with audience 4b. I spoke to entire audience 4c. I did not speak too fast/slow 4d. I did not read directly from my notes/slides 5. Resources 5a. I used resources that addressed the topic 5b. I used authentic print resources 5c. I used interviews with others as a resource 5d. I used my own words in the presentation
  10. 10. Problem Solving 10 The first two columns will be completed before research on the budget project has begun. The last column will be filled in after the conclusion of the project. This KWL chart reflects student answers to their personal budget assignment. TOPIC: My Personal Budget What I know What I want to Know What I learned Need: 1. A job 2. To eat 3. Clothing 4. Utilities 5. Transportation 6. PowerPoint 7. Pie Chart of expenses 8. Extra “play” money 1. How much should I spend on each category? 2. Should I consider a roommate? 3. Do I need a car for where I live? 4. Will my parents help me? 5. Should I save money? 6. Does planning on having a family change my living style? 7. How “fancy” does my PowerPoint have to be? 8. What should my Pie Chart look like? 9. Is my budget monthly? Yearly? 10. What if I move? 1. Living on my own is expensive. 2. The better paying my job, the more “stuff” I can afford. (Further education) 3. Having a roommate can be stressful. (In reference to 2 students working together with different paying jobs) 4. If I save on an item that is not of importance to me, I can afford other things that are. 5. Living within means. 6. Discipline. 7. How to create a Pie Chart in Excel.