Real Life Financial Mathematics (RLFM) FAQs

Updated 5-17-16

If you have any questions, please email Lorraine@Financial

Instruction Methodology

What are the reasons for Do First exercises with video scribes and music?

There are six goals of Do First:

    1. Focus – to reduce the time it takes to have students focus on the lesson.
    2. Activity – related directly to the lesson, having students, think, write, or converse about the topic of the day.
    3. Deadline – activities such as SATs require students to complete work in a limited time – by having music as the deadline for the Do First, helps students get use to working intensely, stop when the music ends and immediately transition to the Vocabulary.
    4. Enjoyment – have students enjoy thinking as it relates to a pleasant experience.
    5. Late students – if they miss the video scribe, the text is included and the students can access the Worksheets and try to catch-up.
    6. Attendance – during the 6- to 8-minute Do First, the instructor can take attendance and note which students are not engaged.

Why not present Vocabulary in a traditional way?

  • In RLFM, the vocabulary is both definitional and contextual.  It is also designed to accommodate the English Language Learner (ELL). The videos graphically review the vocabulary for the lesson. Because words or phrases are presented at a slower pace, the student has time to think about the meanings and context of the word. Students then read the words in the lesson and access the Worksheet, which requires the student to write the word, identify a related word in first language, second* language or synonym, and then define the term in the student’s phraseology.

What is meant by “second language”?  How does this relate to a translation dictionary?

  • For 21st Century careers, a second language is valuable. We encourage ALL students to have a translation dictionary – first language to English for English Language Learners (ELL) or English to a second language for those trying to acquire a second language. Learning technical words in a second language, many of which are similar in sound or structure.  For example, “finance” is la finance, financiar, finansy, and fainansu, in French, Spanish, Russian and Japanese. It may jumpstart students’ interest in a foreign language or help them build vocabulary in the second language required to attend college.

Is material translated to Spanish?

Not at this time. With sale of material, we expect to provide features such as Spanish and subtitles to the future subject matter expert videos.


Is the material correlated to College and Career Readiness Standards?

  • The CCRS correlations are not linked in RLFM. The standards are specifically designed for a four-year high school academic curriculum, not for one specific course.  
  • Because RLFM prepares students for thinking, problem solving, team and independent work, working with huge amounts of information to create individual plans to make solid career decisions and for selecting and funding college, it will offer the students the information and motivation to take more academically challenging high school courses to enhance CCR.
  • Additionally, RLFM allows student to learn best through a variety of learning models – working in teams, researching on the internet, interviewing adults, writing essays, making presentations and sometimes real life work.


Shouldn’t students take Algebra II if they intend to attend college instead of RLFM?

  • We think RLFM benefits every student, even trust fund babies!  It is our advice that students planning on attending college take RLFM as sophomores and have a strong foundation for selecting and funding college.  This will save these students time and money.  Also, after having attended RLFM, students should value having Algebra II while in high school.


Why should students need specific help with funding college if we have an affluent student body?

  • Having provided fee only financial planning to thousands of coupes, the one thing we know is many couples do not have a plan for the unexpected – being laid off, death, disability, chronic illness, divorce, major correction in the stock market – which could impact their ability to fund their children’s college education.  We recommend that students taking RLFM develop a self-funding plan, without parental resources.  Then, if the parents have funding that will not jeopardize the parents’ future, they can help fund their children.


I missed seeing recommendations for remediation for students who get the answers to quizzes incorrect?

  • Educators have an annotated “textbook” in PDF with absolutely complete answers to questions and recommendation for how to teach each unit.


Spanish Glossary, missing?

  • We will consider this.  Students are encouraged to use and for additional understanding. Wikipedia is written in a variety of languages.


Is it possible to add audio, reading the chapter lessons or part? Or, have a voice-over pronouncing  the new vocab?  


What new features are you considering and when would they be added to the material?

  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) videos with experts discussing the lesson.  Most experts are college students or professionals in their twenties and thirties, chosen for expertise, communication and ability for teens to relate to SME.  SME videos will be added by November 2016.  English subtitles will be used. SMEs will use vocabulary for the lesson so students will hear the new words and have them used in the context of the lesson.  Instructors will also gain knowledge of subject matter through SME videos.
  • Materials translated into Spanish.  This task will begin with adding Spanish subtitles to Subject Matter Expert videos, Do First Videos and Vocabulary Videos. Based on revenues from course and feedback from faculty, we will begin this process in November 2017.
  • Vocabulary video with English audio could be completed by September 2017.


Will you offer website support to understand RLFM?

  • The website will have a special menu tab for RLFM.  The menu will contain the following:
    • Course Description
    • Announcement of RLFM – the emails sent to school districts before April 15, 2016 submitting of course to TEA
    • Public Access to Course
    • FAQs
    • Foundation for RLFM
      • History
      • Videos – Instructor, Student, Game
      • Research Outcomes
    • Community Outreach
      • Organizations
      • Volunteer Opportunities
    • Regional Games 2018
    • Instructor Resources
      • FMA Newsletter
      • Website Resources
      • Training
      • Subject Matter Expert
    • Educational Service Centers & School Districts
    • Next Step
    • Get Involved
    • Civic and community life is important

It sounds like RLFM focuses on development of social and emotional skills. Does it?

  • These are not additional competencies that are named in RLFM. They are part of the process of students doing cognitive, meaningful work addressing real life applications.