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Monday, August 11, 2014

Using Money Instead of Just Counting It

I love teaching math. I love watching my young students figure something out for the first time. Sometimes you can see the wheels spinning. But what I love the most is finding ways to teach them using real life math connections. For this, money is at the top of the list. I'm still a little baffled about why there's no money in the CCSS for first grade, but I didn't let that stop me. After a lot of practice with recognizing coins throughout the year in calendar, my students learned to count money and I couldn't think of a better way to practice counting money than by doing a little shopping.

Learning to Count Money

I set up a little store inside the classroom. I stole the cash register, baskets and food from home, but they come from Lakeshore. I made small slips of paper giving a price on each item. Since this is first grade, I kept the amounts under 15 cents each. But you can easily differentiate by pricing the items higher for second grade. The white cups are labeled pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters for the shoppers to use. You can also make it harder for second grade by using dollar bills. This is so easy to set up. I leave it up for a week and use it during math centers.

Print one cashier schedule to keep track of who has had a turn as a cashier.  For each student, print one cashier's time card and three purchase sheets.

Click on each of the images to download the printables.

 I allow two cashiers at a time and each one picks a shopper. The shoppers each choose three items to purchase, record the items, add up the cost, figure out how to pay and return to the cashier with the exact amount of money in their hand. The cashier will add the items up using the calculator on the register and count the money they are given to verify it's correct. If there is a discrepancy, both the cashier and the shopper must work together to find the error. I can quickly check their work after it is turned in by going over the shopper's record.

Each student acts as a cashier for three shoppers and each student becomes a shopper three times. The classroom store makes for lots of fun practice using money instead of just counting it!

Real Life Lessons with Money

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