Monday, April 11, 2011

Counting Coins

Piggy bank and money
Counting coins is a challenging skill for first graders. Once they master pennies, nickels, and dimes... a quarter comes along. Sound familiar? Here is a little trick to help your students along the way.

What do you need? large U.S. coin cut-outs and a marker or dot stickers

By this time of the year, first graders should be very comfortable counting by 5s. Display a nickel and represent it with one dot. Each dot on the coin is equivalent to the value of five. A dime would receive two dots and a quarter has five dots. Since a penny is worth one cent, no dots (count on by ones).

Once you model this strategy to your students, allow them to work in pairs using slates and dry-erase markers to practice the application of this skill. Draw a series of coins. Ask the pairs to work as a team to create the dots and find the sum of these coins. Remind the teams to count each dot as five and count on by 1s for any pennies.

After reinforcing this activity several times, the students will begin to build the confidence needed to create the dots and count individually. They will become more enthusiastic about counting money. Satisfactory guaranteed! This framework is also known as the "Gradual Release of Responsibility".

Show Me the Money!

Miss Sterczek
I Love Math

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