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Title of Project​​: How Much Will it Really Cost Me?

Subject(s)​​: Math/Finance
Grade Level(s)​​: 9-12

Students will be determining different aspects of buying a car and the financing and responsibility that goes along with doing
so. Students will be selecting a vehicle that they would like to purchase, or if they are already a driver using their own for
their project. Students will determine the different aspects of a car purchase from down payment, interest rate, financial
charges, monthly payments, payoff possibilities . Students will create a simulated excel sheet in order to determine the exact
details and financial figures of their purchase in order to give them a tangible idea of the true financial burden/blessing
different cars and choices can be for their financial future.

Learner Description/Context​​:

Washington-Wilkes High School is a school where the majority of students come from low income families, 96% to be exact.
This makes understanding financial aspects of life important for students to learn as well as be able to teach to their own
family later in life. Students have access to computer labs as well as laptop carts that can be presented in the classroom and
during the school day only.

Time Frame​​:

9 weeks, students will be given 30 minutes of class period 3 times a week (block schedule) as well as assigned certain days
by the instructor for computer lab class time.

Standards Assessed​​:

MMF.D.1. Students will use measures of central tendency to investigate data found in

the stock market, retirement planning, transportation, budgeting, and home

rental or ownership.

MMF.D.2. Students will use data displays including bar graphs, line graphs, stock bar

charts, candlestick charts, box and whisker plots, stem and leaf plots, circle

graphs, and scatterplots to recognize and interpret trends related to the stock

market, retirement planning, insurance, car purchasing, and home rental or


Learner Objectives:​ ​Write a statement of what students are going to know and be able to do as a result of this learning
experience and how it will be measured.

Students will be able to pinpoint certain aspects of the car buying process, explain their relevance/importance and the effect
that the decision of what kind of car you are looking to purchase can have on those aspects. The biggest objective of the
project is that the students will understand the aspect of purchasing/financing/owning an item of large financial burden if not
handled correctly, hopefully educating them for future experiences.
The “hook” or Introduction​​:

I hate to be negative with students, but I feel like some examples of car buying failure stories may catch their attention better
than anything included with some positive car buying experience examples as well from people from lower income families.

Students will be required to find one success story of buying a car and one failure story of buying a car and include those in
their “How to Guides.” I encourage the students to look for scam stories as well as stories of being ‘Payment poor’ which
can happen to someone when they bite off more than they can chew when purchasing a car.

Also in order to have students fully understand the intricacy of buying a car a consumer lender from a bank, and a car
dealership lender will both come and explain the details of buying a car through each of them and students will try and
pinpoint the differences. This is going to be used to spark student’s interest in the project and help them understand as well.


Teacher Role:
In this project the teacher is the facilitator, giving guidance and encouraging discussion along with monitoring progress of the
students in project creation.

There will be informative questioning and checkpoints for understanding throughout the project. The excel sheet and how to
guide will be assessed using a rubric. (rubric is below)
● Math - Problem Solving : How Much Will it Cost Me?

​ arker Martin
● Teacher Name: P

Student Name: ________________________________________

CATEGORY 4 3 2 1

Mathematical Errors 90-100% of the Almost all (85-89%) Most (75-84%) of More than 75% of
steps and solutions of the steps and the steps and the steps and
have no solutions have no solutions have no solutions have
mathematical mathematical mathematical mathematical
errors. errors. errors. errors.

Neatness and The work is The work is The work is The work appears
Organization presented in a neat, presented in a neat presented in an sloppy and
clear, organized and organized organized fashion unorganized. It is
fashion that is easy fashion that is but may be hard to hard to know what
to read. usually easy to read. read at times. information goes

Completion All functions are All but one of the All but two of the Several of the
completed. functions are functions are functions are not
completed. completed. completed.

Strategy/Procedures Typically, uses an Typically, uses an Sometimes uses an Rarely uses an

efficient and effective strategy to effective strategy to effective strategy to
effective strategy to solve the solve problems, but solve problems.
solve the problem(s). does not do it
problem(s). consistently.

Explanation Explanation is Explanation is Explanation is a Explanation is

detailed and clear. clear. little difficult to difficult to
understand, but understand and is
includes critical missing several
components. components OR was
not included.
Week One:
The project will be introduced as a whole to the group on the first day, with the bank lender coming the next day, and the car
dealership lender the next. Students will hold and compose any questions that they may have in order to clarify for the
project before continuing and making their certain choices.

Week Two:
Students will create a budget for their car and what they feel they can afford in total. The different groups of students (loan
buyers/savings buyers) will make their choices of purchase, whether used or new of their car in detail, providing all extra
fees, added costs to get out of the door, and finance charges that they may incur.

Week Three: If possible, teacher will provide examples of their own experience in car buying, possibly one pleasant and one
not so pleasant if possible, in a short presentation. Teacher will create their own project beforehand and go through the same
buying process and steps as the student. Teacher will provide their very own how to guide as well as excel sheet and short
presentation to walk a student through how to buy a car, giving students a great model to base their own project upon.

Week Four: Students will continue to work on informational websites and gather information and research into the car buying
process, diving deeper into the mathematical concepts that will be used as well as the effects those concepts have upon the
purchase of a car.
Week Five: Students will continue to work on informational website and gather ideas for their project. Students will be given
two days to collaborate with classmates in order to share/correct/change their minds/ or start working on their final product.

Week Six Final Project Begins: Students will begin with the creation of their ‘How to’ guides, excel sheets, and short
presentations, finalizing mathematical functions and concepts necessary in order to create final product. Hopefully
collaboration with peers in the week before will have helped with elimination of errors, but if necessary teacher will step in to
help correct and point students in the right direction. The project must include the excel sheet breaking down the purchase
and finance aspects, the ‘How to’ guide in writing, and the short presentation overviewing their process. Students start
working on projects.

Week Seven: Teacher will review information/projects/proposals/ideas for their final product in class. Feedback will be
provided. Students will continue working on projects.

Week Eight:If time is needed students will be given short time to finish their projects and email documents to the teacher.
Once this is complete, we will have discussion and reflection via class discussion. Students will give feedback on the
entirety of the project. Once discussions have been completed and feedback received students will begin with presentations,
and if some are not finished this will be a time to finalize work.

Week Nine: Students will present their ‘How to Guide’ as well as their excel sheets and short presentations that explain their
process of decision making to the class, students will also give feedback to each other through question and answer sessions
post presentation, and receive feedback via the teacher/mentor.

Shorthand Steps

1. Student's determine financial means

2. Student's find car they feel they can afford
3. Student's determine the financial terms of their buying a car through the collaboration with advice of bankers/dealers that
presented material to the class. Teacher will act as an advisor and guide as some students will disregard being cost effective
or realize any portion of the monetary aspect of the project.
4. Student's will input and data/analyze/collaborate/make changes/adjust their process based on information and collaboration
with peers.
5. Student's finalize excel sheets/presentation
6.. How to Guide is written.
All steps will be completed during scheduled class time/at home/collaboration time with other students once weekly.


The end product students will produce is an excel spreadsheet simulation and time table for a purchase of a car, to paying off
the car. Students, parents, as well as anyone looking to make a purchase of an automobile could use this type of spreadsheet
as a model in order to make a wise decision. This product should be meaningful to students as they are at the time period of
their life where they all want to have a car in order to get places, but due to being in low income families or extenuating
situations they need to be financially responsible about their decisions. Technology is integrated within the product through
the use of productivity tools in order to achieve financial understanding of a large scale purchase and the details that come
along with that. I will assess the product with a rubric and checklist of different items that are to be included throughout the

In addition to spreadsheets I'd like for the students to have either a short presentation or guide on 'How to Buy a Car' as told
by themselves. Each student's experience will be individualized without a doubt, but it will be interesting to see where the
focus of emphasis for each student will come because they are all going to pick a certain portion of the entire process and
think it is the most important.

Technology Use:

Students will use excel principles as technology to analyze data as well as google chat/email in order to collaborate with their
peers outside of class to share ideas and resources they may have. These support indicators through giving the students tools
of access at any time and availability first and foremost. Information and collaboration with car dealership lender and
consumer lender will be readily available for students to use and ask questions upon, communicating with those individuals at
their convenience via email. Technology will also be incorporated through the use of internet search, as well as any other
information students may find through different avenues and capabilities.

References and Supporting Material​​:

In order to complete this learning experience the greatest outside resource or supporting material the instructor will need is
extra copies of material from the outside resources that come in to speak, as well as providing either flash drive files or
google drive files to students for calculation of their loan term and all figures involved. Also, the teacher is going to need to
create a rubric in order to break down each area of the project from the original financial research to what they can afford, to
the search for a car, the buying process, the financing process, to the maintenance process and so forth. I feel like a great
resource to possible use would be Kelley Blue Book in order for students to get a feel for pricing and worth.

The loan calculation sheet is attached in an excel file, it gives students a complete guideline of the financial aspects of
purchasing a car.

The rubric was created via rubistar:

The car buying finance sheet was acquired from: