Counting money can be a challenge for some learners. Show them how with a hundred chart!
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If you have learners who struggle with counting money, you’ll love today’s hands-on math center!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- real coins (quarters, nickels, dimes, pennies)
- a hundred chart (get one in the free download)
- money counting cards (also in the download)
- a recording sheet (yup – in the download)
I created this activity for students who struggle with counting money OR for students who need an extra challenge.
While this math center would be best for first or second grade, I actually created it for my kindergartner. He often complains that kindergarten math at school is too easy. And since he loves his plastic hundred board, I thought that a hundred chart would be the perfect tool to help him learn to count money.
I suspected he would like this challenge, and I was right!
Before we began, we reviewed the name of each coin and its value. He knew them all. (The coins’ values are listed at the bottom of the hundred chart in case your students need a reminder.)
Next, we took a pile of each type of coin and determined their value using the chart. As you can see, he put a dime on 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 …
He put the nickels on 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.
You get the idea.
Once I knew he had the basic understandings, we were ready to practice counting money! I gave him the first card.
He placed the identical coins on each image. This way he had a pile of the money he was to count.
Next, he placed each coin on the chart. You can see that he started out correctly – putting the quarter on the 25. But then he got confused when he got to the dimes. Where should they go?
He decided to start back at the top – 10, 20, 30 …
I helped him understand that you have to count up from the last coin. And that ten more than 25 is 35.
Tip: Show your students that every time they move directly down on the hundred chart, they’re adding ten. This makes it very easy to add a dime!
Now we were on the right track!
After he’d placed the quarter and dimes, he added two nickels and two pennies.
Finally, I helped him count the coins while pointing at them. 25, 35, 45, 55, 60, 65, 66, 67. He needed some help with this, but did well.
After he wrote the answer on his recording sheet, we moved on to card #2.
And so it went until he had completed half of the cards. We called it quits after that.
Tips for using the activity
- Model with the whole class first. You can print enlarged copies of coins on cardstock, laminate, and put sticky tack on the back. Then you can use them with an enlarged hundred chart that everyone can see.
- Make sure your learners know the basics before pulling this out. If they can’t identify coins or name their values, this is going to go over their heads. (Get easier coin activities at the end of this post.)
- Make sure your students count the coins in this order: quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies.
- If you use this at math centers, be reasonable with your expectations. Tell your students how many of the 12 cards they need to complete. I recommend having different requirements for different students.
- This is a great partner activity because students can check each other’s work. It’s easy to make a small mistake, but if you pair learners of similar ability together, they are more likely to be successful.
- Always have students count the coins out loud after completing a card. They can move the coins to see the numbers underneath if they’re having trouble.
- After your students have done this activity, give them a small pile of coins and see if they can count them without the hundred chart. Let them use the chart if they need help.
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