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Are Your Students Struggling with Counting Money?

If your students have difficulty counting coins a few things will help.  A few things I have tried work well.

  1. Practice adding 10 more and 10 less on the 100’s chart with any number so that students recognize the patterns when adding 10 to a number.  Discuss these patterns.
  2. First, begin counting money values with students without coins.  For example, add 25, 5, and 10 randomly on the board and discuss with students how they decided to add the numbers and relate this to money.  Some students may see 25 and 10 make 35 and then add 5 to make 40.  Others will add 25 and 5 to make 30 and then add 10 to make 40.  Having the class discuss the ways students add numbers and the most efficient ways strengthens students’ abilities to add coin values. (from Van DeWalle’s Elementary and Middle School Mathematics)
  3. Use coin antennas for students who struggle with counting.  Antennas are the marks you make on each coin that stands for a value of 5.  A quarter would have five antennas, a dime would have two, and a nickel one.  If students struggle too much with number sense, then they can count by 5’s after they mark each coin. (from http://www.mathwire.com/money/money.html)

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