Saving for surfing


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in using arithmetic and pre-algebra techniques to solve a practical financial problem.

Achievement Objectives
NA4-2: Understand addition and subtraction of fractions, decimals, and integers.
Description of Mathematics

The background knowledge and skills that need to be established before and/or during this activity are outlined in the diagram below:

Click to show example questions for each heading

This activity may be carried out with step by step guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The student should be encouraged to draw on his/her own financial solutions and innovations, appropriate to the context. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students' skills and depth of understanding.


Kelly really wants to buy a surfboard ($850), for next summer. When she asked mother about getting a new board ordered, her mum said “No, we can’t afford it”.

Kelly decided to come up with a plan.

Every weekday morning, Kelly either catches the bus ($5.50) or she walks and gets a hot chocolate ($4.20) on her way to school. She needs to come up with a savings plan to present to her mother. In her plan, she needs to allow for an average of two bus trips each week in case of bad weather.

Could you suggest a plan for Kelly to present to her mother?

The arithmetic approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to create, with appropriate calculations, a financial plan to solve a problem.

The conceptual approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to create, with appropriate calculations and suggestions, a financial plan to solve a problem.

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