Algebra 3 teachers at Laramie High School taught students about exponential and logarithmic
functions, growth, and decay through a “Game of Life” project the past two weeks.

Algebra 3 teachers, Cindy Reynders and Dennis Hogsett, developed a project many years ago
called “The Game of Life” to teach their students about how to plan their finances and
understand the cost of living.

The project/game was based off someone who is twenty-five to represent the financial status of
someone who has finished school, has student loans, an income, a home/apartment, etc.

This project signified the end of their unit about logarithmic and exponential functions. The
“Game of Life” project was the largest project that the Algebra 3 students will do this spring
semester.

The goal of the project was to show students and give them practice in setting up a budget,
buying a car, and many other things.

“We want them to project in the future planning and how
that works with their life and how to start saving early,” Reynders said.

They wanted the classes to understand the cost of living and all that it entails. Many formulas for
loans and savings have to do with exponential and logarithmic growth, so this project allowed
students to use what they have learned and apply it.

Students worked individually and in groups for the project to represent personal finance
responsibility and living with roommates at times.

“The students [try] to set up a budget and live
within their means and find a place to live, instead of with mom and dad,” Reynders said.

Hogsett and Reynders worked together to make the project as realistic as possible and alter the
game each year.

“We look at colleges and see what their average loans for graduates are and base
it [the game] on that,” Reynders said.

Students drew incomes, student loan amounts, and many other things. They used that
information and their skills from the unit to plan their finances.

“I think it is cool because you
can see what your life will be like,” senior student, Wyatt Johnson, said.

“I think it is just valuable for the students to see how the math they are doing applies to the real
life,” Reynders said.

It can be frustrating at first for some students because they have never experienced any of the
real-life application processes before.

“It’s frustrating, but it helps for the future,” senior student,
Audrey Rivers, said.

Most students enjoy the challenges and their future applications.

“When they figure out a school loan or a car loan, there is a formula. They [will] know it and
they [will] use it,” Reynders said. “It is just a real good life application.”

With “The Game of Life” project, students will be more prepared for the future and will be
aware of what kinds of finances that they will have and how to deal with them successfully.