Friday, February 24, 2012

Coin Antennas

Students draw antennas on coin pictures to represent the value.   Each antenna is worth 5 cents.   This means a dime has two antennas, a nickel has one antenna, a penny has no antennas, etc.   

This strategy capitalizes on students' strength in counting by fives.   They simply point to each antenna as they count by 5s, then count on by ones to include any pennies.   This method is also efficient because students do not need to sort and reaarange coins; they simply draw antennas on coins in the order given.   
This method is especially effective for K-2 regular and special ed. students who will eventually outgrow the need for antennas.   

NOTE: some teachers call the antennas "hairs" and talk about the penny as "bald" because it has no hair.   Whatever works for you and your students is the best strategy. 


  1. Great idea! We are starting our money unit next week...can't wait to use this strategy. Thanks!

  2. I've used this strategy with young learners and observed many teachers using coin antennas. It really works by building on students' strengths -- knowing the value of coins and being able to successfully count by 5s.

    Good luck! Let me know how it works for you.