# Teach Math With Me: Personal Financial Literacy and Taxes

School starts in about a month.  Resistance is futile!  I have a terrible time saying goodbye to napping and reading by the pool, but I always look forward to the start of the year.  Shopping for school supplies and meeting your kiddos at back to school night–Love it!  It is just around the corner…and so are those new personal financial literacy standards.  Now, if you are like me, the first thing that came to mind is, “How will I fit THAT in?”  Followed by, “And will that be on the STAAR test?”  One of the new standards has 5th graders defining 4 kinds of taxes (income, payroll, sales, and property) and that sounds like a great way to integrate some social studies!  So, here are a few ideas and a freebie!

Anchor chart to help students learn what the Constitution says about taxes in the US and about 4 kinds of taxes (income, payroll, sales, property).  This addresses the NEW math TEKS 5.10A for personal financial literacy…and a little bit of social studies!

Math/Literacy/Social Studies station where students sort scenarios based on the tax being described–includes 16 scenarios to be sorted into 4 tax categories.

Vocabulary snip-it with terms for teaching personal financial literacy

Let your students be accountants and do taxes for two fictional characters based on their financial profiles! See below for a link to this page.

Enjoy those last few weeks of summer!  Oh, and here’s a link to the free “Be an Accountant” activity!

–The Pensive Sloth

***Activities in this post can be found in my TPT store.***

# My Many Anchor Charts Monday

Here’s a quick photo post about what has been happening in my classroom the last few weeks!

We read a book about the Lewis and Clark expedition then made a diagram to show Thomas Jefferson’s goals for the expedition. As a class, we did a shared writing exercise turning our diagram into a letter to TJ! As we read, we kept a record of the animals, plants, land, water, and Indian tribes we encountered. AND we drew pictures! I hope you like my bison and grizzly bear. Have I mentioned that I was not blessed with artistic talents??? Want you kids to LOVE learning about Lewis and Clark, click the picture for a rockin’ rap about Lewis and Clark.

Students researched different territories acquired by the US in the 19th century and presented their reports to the class while I recorded their findings. Fun! We learned about the Oregon Country, Mexican Cession, Gadsden Purchase, Florida Acquisition, Louisiana Purchase, Texas Annexation, and what the US was like in 1783.

Text structure/organization anchor chart to help students understand how authors communicate relationships between ideas.

I wrote about Fraction Boot Camp in another post. Click the picture if you want to learn more.  As a class we set goals for common assessments and chart our progress. When we do really well we have a picnic lunch outside. I used smiley faces to cover up class averages. Great activity as you prepare for state testing (STAAR). It certainly helps with motivation!

Anchor chart showing incomplete and complete metamorphosis. Want to see our metamorphosis lab in action? Click this picture to read a post on our Insect Zoo!

We had a great time launching the interdependency lesson. Students brainstormed living and non-living things in a park environment and illustrated and wrote about how everything was connected, or interdependent on each other for survival. Once again, feel free to giggle at my artwork! I certainly do…but I have fun drawing!

# Use MUSIC to Teach Your 5th Graders About the Bill of Rights

I love teaching social studies, especially American history.  I think it is important that children learn about America’s past and what makes this such an exceptional country!  And learning history should be FUN!  Around the middle of the year we begin studying the Constitution and US government.  My kiddos usually get a pretty good grasp on the 3 branches, but the Bill of Rights can be a challenge to teach.  Here’s some fun resources for making the Bill of Rights come alive for your students.

• The Bill of Your Rights Rap on YouTube–A quick, summarized version of the first 10 amendments set to a catchy tune.

• Bill of Rights Word Wall/Anchor Chart–I often make what I call focused word walls.  I’ve never been able to get the alphabetical ones to work for me, plus with teaching all subjects I run out of room quickly.  When I make word walls for science and social studies they are topic specific, so as we learned about the Bill of Rights we added our own definitions to the chart.

Our Bill of Rights word wall/anchor chart. Very helpful to understand the language of the Bill of Rights.

• “We Shall Be Free” Song by Garth Brooks–I love Garth Brooks and there are a few of his songs that I use in history class.  One of my favorites is “We Shall Be Free.”  I usually use this as an integrated LA/SS lesson where students make connections between a printed copy of the actual Bill of Rights and the lyrics of the song.  We listen to the song a few times and then kiddos work in small groups to make text to text connections to specific amendments.  You can find the lyrics HERE and a printable copy of the Bill of Rights HERE.

Visit the iTunes store to download the song “We Shall Be Free” and use it to help teach your students about the Bill of Rights. Or, just look through your old CD collection like I did!

• Bill of Rights For Kids Mini-Unit–Here’s a mini-unit I put together to help teach the Bill of Rights in kid-friendly language.  It stars James Madison and includes guided notes and a test!

You can find this resource, The Bill of Rights for Kids, in my TPT store.

Thanks for stopping by!

–The Pensive Sloth