Can you think of anything more hands on than money?! It’s something that we experience in their everyday lives so it’s definitely a crucial skill to master! And I don’t know about you but when I mention money to my kiddos, it’s usually instant excitement. It’s our job to keep that eagerness by making learning about money fun and engaging for students! It just makes cents!
So let’s dive into all the hands-on experiences and opportunities to learn about ALL things money!
Set the Stage and Engage
First things first, we have to learn how to identify the different coins and their values. There are quite a few tools to help you set the stage and engage students with this prerequisite skill. BrainPop Jr. videos are always a hit with kids and they’re SO informational. There are quite a few short videos for teaching your students about money including their values. Check out all the great options HERE!
Another great way to set the stage and engage students is by reading awesome books! Anytime I can combine literacy and math I am ALL about it!! Check out a list of some of my favorite reads to teach students all about money.
Coin Series: Simple books that teach students about the value of coins.
A Dollar A Penny How Much and How Many?: Learn about the value of coins with this adorable read.
Once Upon a Dime: A cute story about money growing on trees teaches students about the value of money in a funny way!
The Coin Counting Book: Students will learn about the coins and how to count them!
A Dollar for a Penny: An adorable rhyming story about the lessons a little girl learns from earning her own money at a lemonade stand.
You can even combine a fun read aloud with a hands-on activity like the Coin Sorting Mats. Check out an example below!
Anchor Their Learning
I love making adorable anchor charts but let’s be honest, I’m no artist. Solution to my problem? Traceable anchor charts! Simply project these templates on your anchor chart paper and trace away!! Included are completed and blank ones so you can make them your own if you’d like to change a component.
These anchor charts will support students and provide a great reference while they learn about the values of coins and combinations.
Check out THIS anchor chart bundle with all the math standards included!
Concrete Comes First
Making concepts concrete is not only SUPER helpful for providing students a solid foundation to acquire a skill, but it’s also way more engaging. When it comes to these super tricky math skills, I have a secret tool I love to use that has been a MAJOR game changer in our classroom. It’s called the CRA Model and it has got to be one of the best differentiation tools for teaching. Learn more about it HERE!
For this particular skill, I like to start with the ‘C’ part of the CRA Model which is the concrete portion. Bust out ALL the manipulatives like THESE coins and let kids see what each coin looks like to learn its value. They’ll get to touch the pretend money and that awakens even more of their brains to help with a deep understanding. We love using the mats below to give us a space to work while using the manipulatives to grasp this concept of how money works.
Now of course you’ll find that most students don’t even need the manipulatives, but by offering them the choice it provides an important scaffold if they are struggling. Other options for students are to draw their own coins or even just write the values if they are ready for it!
This concrete stage is so beneficial because you are providing student choice, AND they are given an array of tools to meet their own specific needs. What I really love are the conversations that come from this. You’ll have some students using manipulatives, while others are starting to see patterns in the values and use skip counting in their minds to add these values together. Encourage them to talk about how they are working and you’ll be so amazed at all the information that is being digested.
It’s Time for Practice
We know how important it is to put concepts into practice for students to truly understand these standards. Why not make it engaging for students with hands-on activities?! Did you know that there is significant research to support play based learning and the impact that has on students? It only takes 10 repetitions for students to master concepts if it happens through play versus 1000 if not. That’s why I’ve created TONS of engaging hands-on activities that can be used in stations, centers, small groups, fast finisher bins, and SO much more! These activities are differentiated and help support your little learners as they master this important real life skill! Check out some of the great activities below.
Grab and Sort Mats
Kids will have so much fun grabbing handfuls of coins and sorting them on their mats. This is a low prep, easy way to practice identifying coins and their values!
Piggy Bank Match
This activity will have you busting out your fake coins manipulatives and that’s enough to make your students super excited! They will work to collect coins to represent the same amount as is displayed on their piggy bank. This is great because they can practice so many ways to show that same value using different coins.
Spin and Play
A classic but fun way to add in some easy engagement to practicing identifying coins and their value. Students will use their mats, a paper clip, and their pencil to find what coin they’ll cover after using their spinner. A little competition can be added when two or more students get together. Let them spin numbers until the first person covers all their spots!
Maybe you want to add in some graphing practice? Check out the Spin and Graph Games that asks students to chart the coins they spin.
Color by Code
Coloring is a relaxing activity that brings you a masterpiece of art at the end. Add in some money skills and now you have an educational coloring collaboration! Students use their codes to help them to color their picture. You can also grab this fun color by code FREE just by subscribing below!
Grab this free resource now!
The fun doesn’t stop there! These are just SOME of the super fun activities students can get their hands on in the Counting Coins pack. Task cards, color by code, or should I say color by coin, money puzzles, and so much more are included. Check it out HERE!
Connecting the Real World
What’s a more real world skill than money? We need it and use it in our daily lives. We can help students cross that bridge from school to real life when it comes to applying these skills with some really fantastic activities. The limit is how far you’ll let your creativity take you!
One idea is to simulate a grocery store. What kid doesn’t love pretending to shop and spend money at the store to feed themselves or their families. Create a store and provide each student with a certain amount of money to spend, a shopping list with item costs, and have them work to determine how much money they need to buy the things they want. You can easily differentiate this by the amount of money provided to students and with the costs of items.
You extend this activity to incorporate skills like determining wants vs needs or have students be the cashier and solve problems to give other students back change. The possibilities are endless! Another idea is to bring some friendly competition by making a week-long project where students can earn money for things like being kind, being on task, etc. At the end of the week, they can purchase some treats from a makeshift classroom store or restaurant! What a fun, engaging, and real life way to learn about money!
Anytime I can combine crafts and skills I’m ALL about it! Check this adorable craft below that shows off all that great learning and of course looks great on the bulletin board.
Below you’ll see the jam packed math centers bundle that includes ALL these engaging activities and more… with a FREEBIE of course! This bundle will help you have engaging, fun, and hands on math activities for the ENTIRE YEAR. Make math a time your students are sure to love and remember! This is also a GROWING bundle because as I come up with more hands-on ideas, I continue to add them to the bundle, so each new resource that gets included, you get for FREE!
I hope you enjoyed learning some fun ways to help students become masters at money. Let’s help students not only be successful, but have FUN doing it! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! You will get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES, including the Money Color by Code FREEBIE! You will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how to videos! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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