4 Month Budget Spreadsheet

Course(s)/Subject(s): MS Mathematics 8

Grade Level(s): 8

Key Words: Spreadsheet, budget, technology, percentages

Developer(s) Name: Linda Pienkos

School: Kilmer Middle School

Attached Files: ProjectSummary


Approximate Time Frame: six days in computer lab

Materials/Equipment Needed: ClarisWorks, one diskette for each computer station

Description of Lesson (includes context): Students will create and maintain a spreadsheet budget based on a predetermined salary. They will have an opportunity to make “investments and purchases.” Budget records will be kept for an imaginary 4 month period.


1. What is the objective of this lesson?

VA FCPS POS Standards: Mathematics 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8.

VA FCPS POS Benchmarks: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 3.2, 4.1, 7.1, and 8.1.

VA FCPS POS Indicators: 1.1.1, 1.1.3, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.3.1, 1.4.1, 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 1.6.1, 1.6.2, 3.2.2, 4.1.1, 7.1.1, and 8.1.1.

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology): C/T8.1, Mathematics 8.4, 8.13, 8.19



2. What will we examine as evidence of students’ knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): Spreadsheet budget

Performance(s): Standard rubric for grading from the MSM POS, as part of the larger team project.



3. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. Day 1: Complete “What If” spreadsheet activity. Begin to set up your spreadsheet using ClarisWorks and type in the appropriate formulas according to the class discussion.Save your data to the disk provided. Make sure you put your name on the file.
  2. Day 2: Receive your first paycheck and chance card. Open your file, complete the spreadsheet set up, and enter your gross pay and chance card amounts for the month of April. Check the amounts in each cell to see if they are realistic and appropriate. Save to your disk.
  3. Day 3: Receive your second paycheck and chance card. Open your file and enter the amounts for the month of May. Decide how you will invest your balance. You must invest at least half the amount. Save to your disk.
  4. Day 4: Receive your third paycheck and chance card. Open your file and enter the amounts for the month of June. Notice that you received a 10% raise. Did the formulas adjust when you typed in the new salary? Now that you have more money to spend, you may add to your budget categories (i.e. more clothing), invest the additional funds, or have some “fun money.” Save to your disk.
  5. Day 5: Receive your fourth paycheck and chance card. Open your file and enter the amounts for the month of July. Begin thinking of ways to make your budget form more interesting - you may change fonts, size, color, and insert graphics. Save to your disk.
  6. Day 6: Today you must finish your budget and print out a final copy for a grade.

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson?

  1. Purchase sufficient floppy disks - one for each computer station.
  2. Select a “What If” activity for Day 1, as an introduction to the process of building a spreadsheet.
  3. Reserve the computer lab for six days. It is not necessary that the days be consecutive. I did it on six consecutive Fridays in the spring, as part of our team’s cross-curricular unit.
  4. Take advantage of “teachable moments” to discuss finances, deductions, net pay, gross pay, tax brackets, savings accounts, CDs, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.
  5. I actually created a sample paycheck with pay stub, which included deductions, for several different salary categories. The students got a kick out of The Last National Bank of Vienna!


4. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?

It may be necessary to teach this unit with the LD Resource teacher in the classroom in order to accommodate the special needs of the LD student. A completed sample budget may be provided for those students so that they can visualize their goal. ESL students may be paired with other students, depending on their level of proficiency with the English language and the computer.


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