Counting Money

Before children begin working with coins, they need to have the following basic skills: counting, skip counting, adding, and subtracting. It is important to have children distinguish between two concepts associated with coins. The coin itself is a single object. For example, 1 dime is not equal to 2 nickels, because 1 dime simply means one coin, whereas 2 nickels means two coins.

The other concept associated with coins, that are of value, is shown by the following example. The value of 1 quarter equals the value of 2 dimes plus the value of 1 nickel, which equals 25¢. The value of one quarter can also be shown in other combinations of coins. The value of 1 quarter equals the value of 5 nickels, which equals 25¢. The value of the quarter cannot be shown as a whole number of dimes alone.

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

Teaching Model 14.5: Equal Amounts