Math Background

Money: When Students Ask

  • How do I know how much a coin is worth?
    Make a classroom chart with coins and their values. Encourage children to use the chart to describe and compare coins. Talk about the size, color, and pictures of the different coins. Refer to the chart when you engage children in real-life classroom situations that involve money.
  • How do I know what coin to start with when I count a group of coins?
    Display a quarter, nickel, and a penny. Have volunteers name each coin and its value. Determine as a group which coin has the greatest value. Point out that counting coins is much quicker if you begin counting on from the coin with the greatest value—in this case, the quarter. Repeat with different groups of coins.
  • How do I know if I have enough money to buy something?
    Bring in grocery or drugstore ads that show items with prices less than 50¢. Display 3 dimes and 1 nickel. Count together to find the total value of the coins. Ask if you have more than 50¢ or less than 50¢. After children determine that you have less than 50¢, point out that you do not have enough money to buy the item. Then ask what other coins you need to make 50¢. Continue with other examples.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1