BEFORE: How do I create a contextualised numeracy diagnostic for a financial literacy class?

BEFORE (29).jpg

Scenario 1: How do I create a contextualised numeracy diagnostic assessment for my financial literacy class?

Let’s start with the same scenario as we did earlier when we were talking about a financial literacy class. Your approach doesn’t have to be the same, but how would you think about something like this for your own content and context?

  • You’re teaching an introduction to financial literacy to a group of adults in a foundation learning class. You know that they’re going to struggle with the maths including some calculations involving money.

Let’s work through our process:

1. Consider what else you now know about your programme and your learners

You’ve already decided to embed to vocabulary that your learners need. Now you want to embed some of the strategies that they need to do financial calculations relating to their own lives.

You know they need to use these calculations and that this might include working with amounts of money in weekly or monthly budgets, thinking about mortgages and more.

Because you’ve already used the Assessment Tool to get a broad idea of their numeracy abilities you also know that most of your learners are at or above step 4.

2. Revisit your learning outcome for numeracy

You wrote a learning outcome for this scenario that states what you want your learners to achieve:

  • Use strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems using money in the context of an introduction to financial literacy.

3. Unpack the calculation or task

In your programme, learners have to work with a budget and do some calculations. And some of the maths gets a bit tricky as it involves big numbers. So then you asked yourself:

  • What do I need to know and do in order to do this?

Next, you look at your teaching notes from the last programme and brainstorm your own answers to some of the financial calculations.

Here’s a summary of what you decide. Learners would have to know:

  • Place value
  • Basic number facts
  • Percentages and decimals
  • Addition and subtraction using larger sums of money.
  • Multiplication and division using larger sums of money.

You refer to the strand chart for Make Sense of Number to Solve problems and see that many calculations require number knowledge and strategies at step 4.

There’s some multiplication, most of the work is using addition and subtraction. They also need some knowledge of percentages.

Now you have to make some decisions. First of all, you decide that percentages will need to wait for another time. That leaves you with the step 4 additive and multiplicative calculations. You know it’s koru/step 4 because they have to add and subtract multi-digit numbers. 

You might be able to do some work on multiplication strategies later as well, but for now you really just want to focus on the multi-digit addition and subtraction that happens at step 4.

4. Develop some diagnostic questions based on what you’ve unpacked

Using the Additive Strategies progression as a guide, you come up with these diagnostic questions. In this case, all of the questions are at step 4. This is one step above where most of your learners are at.

You’ll be able to use this short diagnostic as a pre-test before you do some teaching about how to work with multi-digit calculations when they are budgeting. And you’ll be able to use it later as a post-test to measure your learners’ progress.

Financial Literacy Questions (Step 4 Additive Strategies)

$100 + $140 + $800 + $1600 =

$46 040 – $540 =

Add $50 000 to $374 000

You earn $2640 from rental properties per month. Your salary is $2500 per month. How much do you earn in total?

Your income is $6 040 per month. Your expenses are $2 270 per month. How much is left over?

Your salary is $3000 per month plus you get passive income from house rentals of $250, $400, and $1700 per month. What is your total monthly income?

Add up these expenses below. What is the total?

  • Mortgage: $1100
  • Student loan: $390
  • Car payment: $220
  • Retail payment: $50
  • Other $1650
  • Child: $380

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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