Well, the Core Curriculum standards seem to be shifting our teaching of coins all around across the grade levels! That's not necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion. The series in our district had some awfully high expectations for coin combination mastery for first graders. Money is tough! It's not a bad thing to aim high, but it sure did cause an awful lot of frustration for most of the little guys and all of their teachers! And it's a funny thing, isn't it, that all kids eventually learn how to count coins just fine, right on time for them to start actually using them!
I'm a firm believer in doing lots of hands-on work with real coins. Those little black-and-white pictures on math pages are a real puzzle for some kids, and let's not even get started on the circles labeled P, N, D, and Q in them!!
Here's a game that will have your firsties trading pennies for nickels, subitizing with dice dots (am I using that correctly as a verb??), and counting coins. Click on the picture to download "Pennies and Nickels" from googledocs.
Like the superhero on the cover, your students can conquer the challenge of coin trading!