Teaching Models

Using Money

Some basic arithmetic skills are needed before working with coins. They are counting, skip counting, adding, and subtracting. It is important to distinguish between the two concepts associated with coins. One of these is the coin itself. It is a single object. For example, 1 dime is not equal to 2 nickels, because 1 dime refers to one coin, whereas 2 nickels refers to two coins. The other concept is the value of the coin. For example, the value of 1 dime equals the value of 2 nickels, or 10¢, and the value of 1 nickel equals the value of 5 pennies, or 5¢.

The value of a penny is 1 cent, usually written as 1¢. The next coin of greater value is a nickel. Its value is five cents, usually written 5¢. The statement “the value of 1 nickel equals the value of 5 pennies” is true. After the nickel, the next coin of greater value is a dime. The value of 1 dime equals the value of 2 nickels, or 10¢.

The coin of greater value following the dime is the quarter. The relationships among the value of the quarter and the values of the three coins of lesser value can be shown as: the value of 1 quarter equals the value of 2 dimes and 1 nickel, which equals the value of 5 nickels, or 25¢. The value of the quarter cannot be shown as a whole number of dimes alone. In this grade, the half-dollar coin is not considered.

In 1999 the United States mint started issuing state quarters. One side of each of these quarters shows the traditional image of George Washington. The other side varies, depending upon the state being honored. Point out to the children that each of these coins has the value of 25¢.

To find the value of a collection of pennies, simply counting the number of pennies gives us the value of the collection. Skip counting by 5s can be used to find the value of a collection of nickels. A collection of dimes would be skip counted by 10s to find its value.

To find the value of a mixed collection of coins, children should start by counting the coins of greatestvalue, then the coins of next lesser value, and so on. For example, to find the value of a collection of coins consisting of 1 quarter, 2 dimes, 1 nickel, and 3 pennies, a child should start with 25 and count on as follows.

quarter   dime   dime   nickel   penny   penny   penny
25¢ right blue arrow 35¢ right blue arrow 45¢ right blue arrow 50¢ right blue arrow 51¢ right blue arrow 52¢ right blue arrow 53¢

So, the value of the collection is 53¢.


Teaching Model 14.1: Value of Coins


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1