Show Me The Money

I am SO looking forward to spring break! Only four school days left. I can't wait to wake up late, wear shorts and flip flops all day, and sit outside with a good book. Doesn't that sound divine?

The only downside to all this fun is that my district has scheduled the Stanford 10 immediately when we return... as in 8:30 a.m. on our first day back. Ugh! Are they crazy? The kids are going to be wacko from having ten days off. Also, we haven't even begun to touch some of the math topics on the test. Time, fractions, MONEY! I have been frantically trying to cram it all into my little second graders these last two weeks. Learning to tell time hasn't been so bad. Fractions? No problem! Money... Lord help us!

We started out just identifying coins which went smoothly. Then, we learned the values. I had the kids put a little flap book in their math journals so they could quiz each other. It looks like this...

They cut the flaps and then underneath wrote the name of the coin and the value. I paired them up to quiz each other and when they were sure both partners knew them all, they came to me to prove it. Everyone passed! Yay!

We also watched this money video on youtube...

money video

Next, we practiced counting like coins. Pennies, nickels, and dimes were a snap. Quarters - not so much. Some of them got stuck after 50 and would say, "25, 50, 60, 70," etc. So we did a little chant with jumping jacks. On the numbers 25 and 75, we jump with our arms out and hands showing five fingers. On the numbers 50 and 100, we jump with our feet together and bring our arms up to make a big circle (zero) above our heads. Mission accomplished!

Finally, it was time to count mixed coins. I passed out cups of play money and just let them go at it. They acted like they'd won the lottery! When one of them tried to pocket the coins, I had to explain for the 100th time that no store would accept this fake money. I think they were really disappointed that I wasn't handing out real cash.

Counting mixed coins has been the hardest thing we've done all year in math. Some of the kids really have it, a few are almost there, but a lot are still struggling. A handful absolutely refuse to start with the largest coins, group them, or use any kind of strategy beside random coin counting. This is what we'll be working on right up until the dismissal bell next Wednesday. For the kids who still aren't getting it, I might have to be the meanest teacher on Earth and assign some money homework over spring break.

For the kids who are getting it, I created a game which has turned out to be one of their favorite activities. They even ask to play it during recess. It's called the Grocery Game. Here they are playing it again today...


I don't think it's as exciting as the pretend grocery store my second grade teacher set up, complete with empty cereal boxes and food containers. (That was the high point of my elementary school experience. Thank you, Mrs. Conaway.) But, my class truly loves playing this game and that makes me very happy!

Looking for more money resources? Check out the awesome products from some of my TpT friends below:
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