Math Background

Count and Compare Money Amounts: Tips and Tricks

  • Have children use play money as much as possible. It not only helps them to become more familiar with the coins but the hands-on practice makes using money something they are becoming experienced in.
  • Set up a class store with inexpensive items such as erasers, stickers, pencils, and so on. The children can earn money as they work throughout the chapter, and then as they earn enough play money, they can buy the items that they want. This is not only wonderful practice for them, but it is also a great motivator and a great tool for classroom management.
  • When comparing money amounts, allow students to use pennies whenever possible if they are having trouble identifying the greater or lesser of two groups. Having the amounts shown in pennies can make it visually more evident which amount has more or less.
  • Along with the store, you can have children earn coins for trading up—that is, they can trade 5 pennies for a nickel or wait and trade 10 pennies for a dime, and so on. Trading groups of coins of a lesser value for one coin equal in value to the group will help to develop children's understanding of how different coins can represent the same amounts.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 2