Teaching Kindergarteners about money is so hard.
I remember my first year teaching Kindergarten. I was so SHOCKED that my students didn't have the first clue about the coins and their value. They couldn't even identify the penny. And to add them up? HA. Not happening.
We had to teach and re-teach over and over and over again. And they still didn't get it.
Over time, we realized that this generation of students had no background knowledge on coins. Why would they? Their parents use debit cards for everything.
So just identifying the coins is new for them, which means that needs to be the first focus. So I made some fun games to help them learn the coins. In my research, to build background knowledge they need to use real coins. Play coins don't look realistic enough, and the size, weight, and texture of the coins help students differentiate between the 3 silver ones. Ok, enough talking - time to show you the good stuff!
I use a cup full of real coins and the kids take turns grabbing a coin. If they can tell me what coin it is (or later the value), then they can put it on their board.
Great math station game! I used it as part of my guided math small group. Check out Coin BINGO HERE!
BAM! is a great game to practice identification of coins. Cut the cards and shuffle. Students take turns pulling a card off the top. If they can name the coin (or value) they keep the card. If they pull a BAM! card, they lose all their cards! Too fun! Again, great math station or small group activity. Check out the BAM! Coin game for free HERE!
Coin Pocket Chart Sorting
My students love to sort things. So I made a coin sorting station. Cut the cards, and put up the pocket chart and let them go! I love hearing them discuss where things belong and why. Great opportunity for them to practice expressing their thinking! Check out the sorting station HERE!
Counting with Coins
It took a few years, but we realized, to help students identify the coins, we could add them into our counting unit. So we slowly started introducing them for counting. Counting by 1s with pennies, counting by 10s with dimes, etc. By the time we got to adding the value of a collection of coins, almost all the students could do it. All of my coin counting and counting on activities come with a cute piggy bank counting mat.
Counting On with Nickels and Pennies
Students can start becoming more familiar with the nickel and pennies while practicing counting on from 5. Make an easy math station activity! Check out Counting on with Nickels and Pennies HERE!
Counting On with Dimes and Pennies
Students can start becoming more familiar with dimes and pennies while practicing counting on from 10. Make an easy math station activity! Check out Counting on with Dimes and Pennies HERE!
Counting by 5s with Nickels
Help students remember the nickel is worth 5 cents while they practice counting by 5's! Easy math center activity. Check out counting by 5's with nickels HERE!
Counting by 10s with Dimes
Help students remember the dime is worth 10 cents while they practice counting by 10's! Easy math center activity.Check out Counting by 10's with Dimes HERE!
Coin Values in a Collection
If it is difficult for Kindergarten students to name the coins, it is near impossible for them to tell the value of a collection of coins. They need lots of practice! Here are some great ideas:
Coin Flash Cards
In my district, we are talking a lot about students explaining their thinking. I made these Coin Flash cards so that students could practice explaining their thinking with coin collections. It also is a tool to help with mental math and subitization. Check out the coin value flash cards HERE!
Coin Value Math Station
My students love this station! They choose a card, add the value and then write it on the recording sheet. Great practice! Check out the fun math station activity HERE!
I hope these money activities help your students as much as they did mine! Leave a comment and let me know what works to help your students learn the coins!!