Sunday, February 8, 2015

Counting Coins - How Parents Can Help!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Working with coins can be such a challenge for little learners ... and teaching about coins can be equally challenging for their teachers! Mastery (or even just reaching a developmentally-appropriate level of comfort!) takes time, patience, practice, practice, and more practice!!

Asking parents to help at home is great, but sometimes a little assist is called for. Even the most well-meaning of parents can take working with coins a bit too fast and end up inadvertently overwhelming and confusing their child.

Keeping practice light and short is key. Sadly, some of the same little ones who struggle with coins are also struggling with many other things, so adding to what may already be a frustrating homework time isn't going to help anyone!

That's what makes the Pocketful of Coins game a success for lots of kids! It's fun, it's short, it's focused ... and it doesn't feel like homework!

Download this printable that will explain how the game works at almost every level of ability. It's a great set of strategies to demonstrate at a Family Math Night, but since not everyone has that opportunity, here's a printable that you can send home to explain it. The activities are listed in order of difficulty, so if the ideas go beyond where your kiddos need to go, just snip off the ones that are not appropriate for your needs!

Have some fun with coins during this Presidents Day week! They're a great way to get some discussion going about familiar presidents and to introduce one that may be new to your students.
Coin rubbings are an oldie-but-goodie activity that kids love. When your K-1 students rub the side of a pencil point across a paper with a coin beneath it, all of the ooohs and aaahs will make you think that someone just pulled a rabbit out of a magician's hat! {You might want to sort out those sneaky state nickels and quarters - good for other purposes, but not when your focus is on presidents!}

In case you might be looking for some other activities for counting groups of coins, here's an activity that you and your students will like! Click to see these riddle cards at my store.

Happy Teaching!

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