Weekly Reader Connections

Teacher Guide: Lesson 3.4

The Weekly Reader Connections feature on Kids' Place Houghton Mifflin Math provides your students with additional information about the topics that appear in the Curriculum Connection feature in their student books.

The article “Discounting Pennies” discusses a bill brought to Congress that would have discontinued the use of the penny. Citizen groups were polled in order to find out whether or not the public would accept eliminating the penny. Most people did not want to give up the penny. Ultimately, the bill was not passed and so it did not become law.

The Word Wise activity focuses on the word “virtual.” Virtual memory used to mean memory that is not built into a computer. But now, “virtual” usually refers to things that mimic their real counterparts. Students are asked to express their understanding of these actual “virtual” expressions:

  • virtual library: Library that exists in electronic form
  • virtual community: Group of people who contact one another through e-mail and Web pages
  • virtual reality: Having to do with computer simulations; a 3-D world in which a game player puts on a data glove and goggles and moves around as if actually part of the virtual world

The Data Hunt activity has students explore the idea of living in a world without pennies. You may provide students with copies of store circulars from local stores, scissors, and large sheets of paper to complete the project.

Students are asked to cut out items from the circulars, and then write the actual price of each item beneath it. Students then round that price to the nearest nickel. When students have completed their poster, discuss what they have found. Ask children whether they would spend more money or less money on the items if the penny no longer existed.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 4