Mrs. Higgins and Ms. Gillespie's first graders at Port Monmouth Road School in Keansburg, NJ, use large magnetized coin cutouts to make the correct money amount. This activity provides a platform for discussing different ways to make the same amount as student pairs often choose different coin combinations. Students at their seats use coins to create combinations as well and record them on whiteboards, if desired.
Many Coins, Many Ways
Challenge students to find all of the different ways to use coins to express the day's date. Students may start this challenge haphazardly, but this activity presents older students the opportunity to learn the value of using an organized approach to solving these types of problems so that they will be confident that they have found all of the possibilities. Teachers might model the use of a chart, for instance, to record combinations. Students should be prompted to talk about the orderly approaches they used.