Basketball Finances


This is a level 3 number activity from the Figure It Out series. It relates to Stage 6 of the Number Framework.
A PDF of the student activity is included.

Student Activity

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Specific Learning Outcomes

use addition and subtraction to solve money problems

Description of Mathematics

Number Framework Links
This activity is appropriate for students working at stage 6. It involves estimation, addition, subtraction, and rounding of dollar amounts. Students working at stage 5 will need extra teacher scaffolding, while those students working at stages 7 and 8 will be able to complete the tasks without a calculator. (See the table of NDP material on page 4.)

Required Resource Materials
FIO, Level 3-4, Financial Literacy: Granny’s Gift, Basketball Finances, page 7

A calculator (optional)

Catalogues from sporting goods shops or access to the Internet


Financial understanding
In this activity, Rebecca compares prices of different goods she would like to purchase to help her meet her goals. As she identifies some of the expenses involved in her plan, she learns that there are many options to explore before any decision making occurs. People making decisions need to consider personal preferences as
well as the cost of the choices available.
For question 1b, although the $1,000 will indeed be enough to cover these minimum expenses (with $453.07 left over), the students may wish to discuss and consider which items are worth paying more for. The cheapest basketball may not be the correct weight, for example, and therefore it may be wiser to invest in a more
expensive ball to make shooting practice more worthwhile. This leads to a discussion on the trade-off between quality and price.
Question 1c lends itself to discussion with a larger group, perhaps using the expertise of students in the class with experience in representative sports. Other costs could include a thank you gift for Aunty Jane, buses, lunches, team uniforms, and so on.
For question 2, the students may suggest using the Internet to purchase second-hand items.

Mathematics and statistics
The task in question 1a is fairly straightforward and the students shouldn’t need a lot of teacher guidance. It’s a good scenario in which to use rounding and estimation as a strategy. Most of the quoted amounts can be rounded up. Rather than calculating $109.99 + $19.99 + $46.95 + $300.00 + $70, students can estimate the
total cost by adding together $110 + $20 + $50 + $300 + $70. This answer of $550 is very close to the actual answer of $546.93. (A sophisticated strategy to then get the actual answer is to add up the rounding errors, that is, 1c + 1c + $3.05 = $3.07, then subtract from the estimate of $550 to get $546.93, which is much faster than
adding the exact amounts together.)

Financial understanding
In this investigation, students learn that exploring all the options available to them will help them make more informed financial decisions about their spending.
This investigation could make a good homework activity. If you have an initial class or group brainstorming session for the items related to a chosen sport, suggest that they be separated into “needs” and “wants”. You could give the students a budget with which to make their sporting purchases, which would encourage them to
make decisions between the necessary and the luxury items and to analyse the various costs of the “needs”.

Social Sciences Links
Achievement objective:
• Understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources (Social Studies, level 3)
Ask: What is influencing Rebecca’s decisions? What else could influence your decisions? Discuss needs, wants, fashion, cost, reliability, peer pressure, and so on.

Other Cross-curricular Links
English achievement objectives:
• Purposes and audiences: Show a developing/increasing understanding of how to shape texts for different purposes and audiences (Speaking, Writing, and Presenting, levels 3–4) Students could make an advertising brochure for sports gear, either for basketball or another sport of their choice.
• Processes and strategies: Integrate sources of information, processes, and strategies with developing confidence/confidently to identify, form, and express ideas (Listening, Reading, and Viewing, levels 3–4)
Students could use telephone directories, newspapers, catalogues, the Internet, and other sources to find sports equipment for sale.
Health and Physical Education achievement objective:
– Investigate and describe lifestyle factors and media influences that contribute to the well-being of people in New Zealand (Healthy Communities and Environments, level 3)
If the class is learning skills based around a particular sport, they could investigate the costs involved in playing the sport compared to those of the sport chosen in their investigation.
A representative sportsman/woman could be invited to visit the class and talk about the costs involved in playing their sport and the financial sacrifices they have made for their sport. They should also be encouraged to talk about the benefits involved in their sport, particularly those that involve their health and well-being.

Answers to Activity

1. a. $546.93. ($109.99 + $19.99 + $46.95 + $300 + $70)
b. Yes, with $453.07 left over
c. Answers will vary. She may have to catch buses, buy lunch, pay for a team uniform, buy a thank you gift for Aunty Jane.
2. Answers will vary. She could investigate buying second-hand equipment or wait until sports shops have sales. She could ask around and see if neighbours or anyone in the family is going to Auckland when she needs to go and could take her with them.
Answers will vary.

Reflective question
Answers will vary. “Shopping around” means not buying an object from the first place you see it advertised or available. It means comparing prices, quality, warranties or guarantees, availability of replacement parts, and so on. There are consumer websites that help you to do these comparisons. Advantages: you can choose the best deal, product, or price out of those you have compared; you can
get an overview of the product range available so that you can choose the one that is best for your needs; sometimes you can use information that you find out to get a better deal somewhere else if you ask them to match a competitor’s price; or you
can compare and weigh up other factors that are important to you, like the product being organic or made using fair-trade principles.
Disadvantages: shopping around is time-consuming and takes a lot more effort than just buying the first one that you see (which might turn out to be the best value and quality after all that searching around!); you might take so long doing it that you
miss out on a special deal or sale; or the product might be sold out when you go back to buy it.


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