I'm a first year 7th grade math teacher and I need some help spicing up my lesson. As it gets closer to winter break, my kids are going nuts and I need something that will really catch their attention. We are about to start discussing tax, discount and tips. At the end of the unit, I have a wonderful project for them to do but I wanted to introduce it with a bang as well!
We will be introducing tax next Friday and I was hoping some of my fellow teachers might have some ideas to get this unit going. I have access to most any resource I need, if I have enough time to find it, so I'm really open to any fun ideas you guys may have to offer! I was thinking about taking them to the computer lab and having them research tax rates for different states.
Thanks for helping me increase my teaching repertoire!
When I taught 7th my lesson on Tax lined up perfectly with the Social Studies lesson on the American Revolution. I had them figure out the equivalent British Tax that would be added to items today like an ipod or sneakers. I had them clip items out of the Sunday ad's and then make a little poster about how much the Revolutionary war era tax would be on that item. It usually made both subjects more assessable to the students.
I love Jeffrey's idea! I saw a lesson once where the teacher had her kids do something similar, and it was very effective. It also had kids work with pounds vs. dollars, so there was some implicit conversion practice. Some of the less mathy kids really got into the historical part of it.
The lesson Invest in Your Education from Illuminations uses sales tax (and other fees and discounts) to teach about percents. The woman who wrote this lesson for us based it on what she did in the classroom -- kids would arrive one day, and all furniture and class supplies (books, pencils, calculators) would be piled in the back of the room. Kids had to purchase the supplies they needed using fake money and calculating the cost of the items. They could use coupons to reduce the cost; and any money they had left over they could use to buy fun things, such as erasers, candy, etc. -- so there was built-in incentive to do a good job.