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Monday, March 24, 2014

Money Jars

Counting money could be fun...or painful.  I rather say it is fun because it reviews so many math concepts our students have been practicing since kindergarten (counting by ones using a hundreds chart = counting pennies, or counting/skipping by tens= counting dimes). Once they realize it is not such a brand new concept, they begin to believe it is easy.
When we talk about quarters and combining all the coins...well, I always tell my kids that is the brand new thing they must learn as second graders and that step by step, they will certainly be able to do it.

Counting money is not always easy, and this time, we used 'jars' to learn how to count money.

Check it out HERE :)

We began by exploring coins and looking for ways to describe them.  

After finding out that a few kids did not know their coins, we used these jar to find them. 
I made a quick reference half sheet for them to use when needed. 

Then the counting began...

We used our jars to count one type of coin at a time (only pennies, only nickels, only dimes, only quarters), then two coins (pennies and nickels, pennies and dimes, pennies and quarters...), and lastly three coins (pennies, nickels and dimes...). You get the idea.  I was taking  notes of where they got lots, and then met with them in small groups. 
The kids were told to put their coins on the top of the jar and move each coin while they counted nice and slow (one-to-one correspondence). Touch, count, move...

Once we got to having the four different coins together, they were told to put each coin with their 'relatives'. I told them I like to be with my family so if I was a penny I would like to be with all my penny family members. Then we put them in order from highest value to lowest value. I remembered to emphasize it is not about the coins size, but their values.

I showed them two strategies. On day one, we worked on using the counting up strategy or what you may call number patters.  On day two we worked on counting each family of coins, then using an addition algorithm to get the total.  We practiced both, but they are able to use the one that makes the most sense when it comes down to take any assessments.

We got busy using our money jars. I mainly worked with my kiddos who struggle at this point.  72 jars later and they can count much better than they did before.  

Would you like to check it out?
Find it HERE.

I will send this to two friends who help me pin this (leave your link and e-mail).  Any other secrets you use to help your students count money?

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