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Money - Counting Coins

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Counting money can be a difficult concept for kids to grasp. Here's several ideas to consider when teaching your students how to count money.

Counting Coins (long)
Posted by: Amanda K.

The very best way I have of teaching coin counting is to start the first day of school and do it every day. I can't recommend this enough, I'm telling you! The problem with counting coins is that the kids have to be able to count by tens, and then switch to fives, etc. So many of them have problems with that, but if you are modeling it every single day from day one, more of them pick up on it. It's just a matter of seeing it every day.

My trick is, I do a coin segment during calendar beginning with the first day of school. What I do is I show the kids how to make the day's date in coins. I have a wooden board with rows of clear slats on it so I can drop coins in and the kids can see what coins are there. So, if the first day of school is August 8, we make 8 in coins. Of course, the first 2 months of schol, I do it for them, and they of course, are clueless, but they watch me count the coins out and I encourage them to count with me if they can. I tell them things like, a nickel is the same thing as 5, so I put the nickel and say, "5." And then, I say, "But we need to get to 8. A penny is 1." And then I add three pennies, counting out loud, while the kids watch. I do 1-2 different ways of making the day's number each day, until the kids are able to tell me the coins, and then we do 4 ways so more people have a chance. I also have a poster at my calendar area that shows the coins, their names, and how much they are worth so the kids can use this as a reference.

By 1-2 months, some of the kids are able to tell me how to make the date in coins instead of my telling them, and about half of them are able to count along. By the time I get around to actively teaching coins from the math book in January, most of the kids can already count to 30 and the worksheets from the book are too easy for them. During the 3rd trimester, when our state standard says the kids have to count to 99, I assign a higher number at calendar instead of the day's date. For example, I tell the kids that I am looking for ways to say 77 using coins, and you have to use quarters. I let kids tell me 4 different ways, and the whole class has to count along as the helper puts the coins in. They absolutely love this. It's like a game for them to figure out the coin combinations on their own.

I also have a coin center, which is monitored by a parent once a week. I have fake money that the district supplies (but you can also buy this at a teacher's store), and a stack of playing cards that have pictures of things to buy with price tags. The kids play Store with this game. We've also played Store whole class, in cooperative groups. I circulate the room and help out kids who are having troubles.

Since you're probably looking for stuff to use right now, and my idea starts from the beginning of the year, here's some advice. Stick with the simple stuff, and then move to the harder stuff. Have the kids just count nickels first, and then add pennies to the combination. When they are comfortable with working with these two coins together, then teach them dimes and pennies. When they can do that, then you can start mixing up the coins more, like with dimes, nickels, and pennies. And don't rush it. This is probably the most difficult concept I teach in math, including fractions. The kids need time to process the information and grow comfortable with each level of counting. Playing store in an adult-monitored center or in cooperative groups where there is at least 1 competent student in each group to help the others is really beneficial.

Something else I do is remind the kids that if they have a workbook page, they can go through, and write the coin values on top of the coins so they can remember what they are supposed to be counting by on that particular coin.

Truly, though, if you are teaching first grade next year, I highly recommend doing the coin counting at daily calendar from the beginning of the year. It's by far the most effective way I have discovered to teach this difficult concept. I'm the only teacher in my school's grade level who taught it that way this year, and it's no coincidence that I'm also the only teacher who doesn't complain that the kids just can't count coins. Good luck!

counting money
Posted by: Julianne

I'm teaching my first graders this skill right now. Three things that have helped are:

1. We made a set of charts using interactive writing. Each has a large coin taped to it. They say "This is a penny. It is worth one cent. We count pennies by ones." Ditto for a dime and a nickel. We refer to these charts often.

2. I remind them each time we count money to start with the most valuable coin first. Because our curriculum requires us to only go up to a dime, we call it a dynamite dime - because it's worth so much more than a nickel.

3. I made a set of baggies with different groups of coins. I have the students count each group right through the bag with myself or another helper. Counting real coins is more fun. At the end of the unit those that can correctly count each bag get 30 cents in coins to keep.

Let me know if something else works good for you.

Posted by: Jennifer

To assist students with coin recognition I play the "Sock Game". This is how you play:
-Begin by reviewing coins and having kids describe each coin in detail.
-Put one of each coin in a sock.
-Have kids partner up.
-One student reaches in and gets one coin out of the sock. THe student must say to his/her partner, "I have a ____, it is worth____ cents".
-Then the student puts the coin back in the sock.
-THe partner then has to try to find the coin just by feeling the peeking.
- If the student retrieves the correct coin he/she gets a cube.
-THe student with the most cubes wins.

*I begin by having this be a lesson, for the rest of the unit the students play as a warm-up.

coin craziness!
Posted by: Joanne

Colleen, I started my money unit last week. I incorporate money from the beginning of the year when we doing counting the days of the week. I figured this unit would be a breeze. I WAS WRONG!!!
What has worked for me in the passed is having the children bring in real money(20 pennies, 10 dinmes, 5 nickles, and 2 quarters). We try to use their money everyday. We make of number stories about money. With their money they count out handfuls and work with partners. We also play the PENNY/NICKEL EXCHANGE GAME. To play you need to make a bank of 40 pennies and 8 nickles. Players take turns rolling the die and collecting pennies from the bank. As players aquire 5 or more pennies, they say "EXCHANGE" and turn in 5 pennies for a nickel. The game ends when the bank is empty.
I believe this is a very difficult concept for first graders to learn; especially when counting all the coins together. I get the blank looks and many leave still not knowing what I would like them to!
Hope the game will help!

Posted by: robin

Dear Jane,
For the past few years, I have culminated our money unit with a Yard Sale. The children are given a notice to bring home soliciting "Treasures" to be "sole" at our class yard sale. The tables are set up with tape dividing them into sections. Each section has a price category. This year I hadtwo price categories per group of items. One category had all prices ending in 5 or 0 for students who have difficulty with adding three or more columns of numbers without skip counting etc..
On the day of the sale, each student is given a sheet with four lines to write down the amount of their purchases. They are given a clipboard and a bag to put their purchases in as well. They are also given a bag of play coins and bills to use to compute their purchases. They must add up the total and show the amount of change form $5.00. They may do this using only paper and pencil or they may use the play money to support computation. Of course, we have been using these mathods all along to add $ and count up to $1, $3 and so on. The kids LOVE this activity and are extremely motivat9ed to shp. I only allow 5-6 shoppers at once (names drawn from name cup). The children that are waithing play a Money Bingo game and don't seem to mind as they try to win a lollipop for their group. Also, I let the last group buy 5 items to compensate for less selection at the end. All shoppers were happy this year!

First Graders and Money
Posted by: Darci

I try to mix all sorts of activities before, during, after my money unit. Here goes my attempt to help......
During Math Meeting: Each student has a clipboard with a stack of papers on it that we work through together each morning. (Do not start this at the beginning of the year.)
Together we fill in their paper calendars with the Student of the Day and also mark with stars any special occassion (birthdays, holidays, etc)
The next page is a weather graph....also done with the Student of the Day.
The third page is one that has lines like this,
1)_____, ______, _____, ______etc...(fill the pg and number each line) I start out the number pattern and then the class helps me finish it.
The next page is a blank 100 square graph. Each day, together, we fill in a line of 10 numbers. It takes ten school days to write to 100.
The last page is MONEY!!!!
On this page there are four columns. The first is a line (going down the page) of cups drawn to represent holding money. The second column are lines with the cent sign (at first and later remove it so they add it) beside each cup.
The third and fourth columns are the same as the first and second, that way you can get pretty-much an entire month's worth of money practice.
I hold up coins....begin easy with only pennies, then nickels and pennies, then dimes and pennies, and finally dimes, nickels and pennies.
I hold them up and we count together. Sometimes we have to count several times together to get it correct, but the class has to work it out.
We all draw the coins in the cup and then write the amount on the line with the cent mark.
REMEMBER: Remind the students that if a neighbor is lost, that we are working together and being a helper is fine. (Peer teaching really works in my classroom!)
Also during math meeting we count the number of days of school using a 1 to 100 number pocket chart. We count by ones (pennies), fives (nickels), and tens (dimes)......Other lessons, odds, evens, backward, forward, etc....
Anyway, after we count to the number of days we are on, I then ask "If I were to give you dimes and pennies for this number, how many dimes would you have? How many pennies? (For example: If it is the 35th day of school, they would reply with 3 dimes and 5 pennies. This really helps when they have to look at a math receipt worksheet and have to tell how many dimes and pennies the wagon would cost, etc.)
When the students have a grasp of money.....We play "buy and sell." I pair the students off and each student has three or four items (empty boxes and plastic jars of food) on their desk. Using those flourescent circle-stickers, I mark a price on each item that way I control what they are counting.
They also have a paper piggybank I have laminated just to keep the money used to buy separate from the rest of the money on their desks.
The first child tells the second one which item they are going to sell. The second child must tell the first one what the pricetag says and then place the correct amount of change on his own piggybank. (NOTE: NO ONE EVER EXCHANGES COINS. YOUR COINS STAY ON YOUR DESK. THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SORT WHEN DONE.)
If correct, the child gets the item placed on his own desk. If incorrect, the child selling the item must help the one buying count out the change correctly, then the item is sold. (Then it is the second child's turn to sell to the first......back and forth.)
What I have noticed is if I pair up a strong money-sensed child with one who stuggles, they learn great from peer tutoring. I walk around the room checking, helping, and changing items on all the desks so they can keep buying and selling different things. THEY WOULD DO THIS ALL DAY IF I LET THEM!
I have other ideas that I have either made up or have come across over the years, but I will not write a longer novel this time! Ha! If you would like more ideas, please let me know.
Hope these ideas help!

Posted by: Aleesha

I just finished a money unit and I made up "wallets" for each student (ziplock bags with a piece of tag inside with some coins glued to it...well not actual coins but pics of coins) and each student had to count the money in their wallet, record that, then trade wallets with a class mate, and then count their class mate's, etc...the kids had great fun with the wallets and were getting quite proficient at counting out the coins. Next time, I think I would have them practice recording in different ways too...with the cent sign and with the decimal and dollar sign too.

We also played store...the kids "bought" items in the classroom that we had priced. With my grade twos, I had them pick two items to buy, add them together and pay for the total...with the grade ones, we paid for the items in two different ways...for example, if the pencil was $0.15, they could pay with three nickels and then a dime and a nickel...I tried to discourage paying for everything with pennies!! Have fun...aleesha

grocery store idea
Posted by: Vanessa Crawford

Hi CS,

I just finsihed a unit on money before easer with my grade one class. I sent a note home to my parents asking for any boxes, containers etc. I used small tables, shelves and these storage containers that I purchased (they are cubes that you build, they are metal and can link together-pretty inexpensive) anyway, I organized all of the food into different sections, dairy products, meat, snack foods, frozen foods, etc, just as you would find it in a store. When it cam time to play "store" it was very structured. I have 20 kids in my class and each day each child had a different assignment. I had two cashiers (we used calculators) two people who recorded what the cashier did on paper in case he/she made a mistake, two baggers, two shelf stockers, two people to work in the deli and the rest were shoppers. I helped one cashier and my aid or a parent helped the other as they still need a lot of support at this age. The shoppers were each given different amounts of monbey as each were assigned different jobs. They did not receive any more money that day if they spent it all as they had to learn to budget. The prices for my items were not realistic as I wanted my children to be able to add. No item exceeded 50 cents. I used plastic money. The children loved playing store and were dissapointed when it was time to clean up. *One tip, I always placed a limit on the amount of things the childern could buy as they were buying 10 and 12 items and it would take forever for the cashier to come up with a totaland some shoppers would not get a turn to buy their items. But, again, this depends on which grade you teach. I hop this has helped. Happy shopping!!!


Counting money
Posted by: School Time

I got my Smartboard last year. My favorite thing to use it for was counting coins. The kids had play money on their desks. I had coins on the Smartboard (from either their resources or google images). I wrote on the board how many of each coins (2 quartes, 3 dimes, 1 penny). Each child at their seats found those coins and counted the money. The child at the Smartboard took the coins and dragged them into the work area. They counted the coins, writing beneath them the total value (25 cents, 50 cents, 60, 70, 80, 81) Sorry--no cents sign on the keyboard. The kids loved it!

Good luck!

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100s chart!!
Posted by: kali

Use a 100s chart to teach them how to count coins, it really helps!! It also gets them thinking of counting money just like counting anything and thinking about base 10.

Practice with a few pennies first...heres six pennies each is worth 1 cent so put them on the chart and once you get to your last penny, the number underneath is how much you have..6 cents!Then do dimes and then do like a few dimes and a couple pennies.

It really has helped my kids when they are tangled in counting coins!

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Touch Math
Posted by: sp.ed.

The Touch Math program has a good idea to teach and reinforce counting by 5's to count money. Students learn to "tap" or touch once for nickels, twice for the value of a dime, and five times for the value of a quarter. There are visual cues (one dot on the nickel, two dots for the dime and five dots for the quarter), auditory cues and tactile/kinesthetic cues.

You might be able to make your own chart.

For the nickel there is one dark dot in the center of the nickel.

For the dime there are two dots, one centered just above and one just below the dime but still touching the dime.

For the quarter place the dots in this design superimposed on top of the quarter:

* *


* *

Students can also advance to counting mixed coins using this technique. For pennies they need to learn to stop counting by 5's and just add one more.

Teaching Money!
Posted by: StudentTeacher

I've just recently learned this from my student teaching placement. Hole punch a lot of velcro (the soft side) and then glue them on the back of coins as such: 5 on the back of a quarter, 2 on a dime, 1 on a nickel. If the kids can skip count they can count change by skip counting five for each piece of velcro. It works great with our kids, especially because they have something to touch on the coin!

Add Legs
Posted by: Hokie Fan

Are they able to count by 5's? If so, this may help. If using a worksheet, draw legs on the coins. If using real money, draw coins on scrap paper and add legs.

A quarter gets 5 legs-"5,10,15,20,25"
A dime gets 2 legs-"5,10"
A Nickel gets 1 leg-"5"

Start with the dime, count each leg, then move on the nickels, counting each leg by 5's. After counting the pennies, put a slash through them.
I hope this makes sense and can help!

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