Loir Lackland & Students

Posted: February 23, 2020

You may recall math problems from your school days that go something like two trains leaving different cities heading toward each other at different speeds…when and where will they meet? Even though I love math problems like this, I recognize that they probably aren’t the most engaging for students.

Lori and I talked about the challenge of engaging students so that they can connect the math to topics of interest such as buying a car or getting a credit card. Over the past several years of senior exit interviews, students have expressed interest in learning more about finance. Even though they may have had opportunities in the past, the reality of life after high school creates a sense of urgency for learning about the financial realities of post-graduation.

Lori shared her love of bringing real life examples to her students. “We’ve all learned lessons along the way. I try to share some of my experiences with them and pose questions to them where they can use the math to figure out the best solution.”  Some of the experiences include getting a car loan, credit card interest rates, and college loans. “The students are like sponges. They’re engaged and the questions start flying. I try to be really vulnerable and share mistakes I’ve learned from.  We’ll look at what can happen with interest rates and students are shocked.” These opportunities help students grow in their mathematics content learning, and also help them make connections between that content and applications in their life for it.

Payment Information“There are so many a-ha moments and realizations. I’ve even had a student say, ‘Wow, I can’t afford college.’ Well, that’s not really the takeaway I want, so we talk about there are ways to make whatever you want to happen. I just want students to go in with their eyes wide open.”

Thanks for sharing with us, Lori!


  • When are you most engaged in learning? Why?
  • How do we help students be engaged with their learning?

Framework Links:

2.6 Noticing when students are not engaged

3.1 Effective scaffolding of information within lessons

3.2 Planning and preparing for the needs of all students