Hello, I have two students who are really struggling with counting mixed coins. Neither student is that great at math but money is really throwing them for a loop. First, off neither of them can remember how many quarters make a dollar or the 25, 50, 75, 1.00 sequence. Besides that though, they really struggle with quarter, dime, dime, nickel, penny, penny for example. Instead of 52 cents they are just guessing "dollar", "75 cents ... I mean 76 cents". What do you do to get them to add it up correctly? Any tricks???

I assume they are familiar with the coin names and values? If not, this song (to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?") is an old favorite that helps with that... Penny, penny easily spent Copper brown, and worth one cent. Nickel, nickel, thick and fat You're worth five cents, I know that. Dime, dime, little and thin I remember you're worth ten Quarter, quarter, big and bold You're worth twenty-five, I am told! As far as the sequence for quarters, maybe you could make a 100 chart that shows number 1-25 in the 1st row, 26-50 in the 2nd row, 51-75 in the 3rd row, and 76-100 in the 4th row. They could put pennies on each number, then practice trading for nickels, trading, for dimes, and trading for quarters. They would see that each quarter is on 25, 50, 75, or 100 and that it takes 4 to equal a dollar. Maybe you could lay out small treats, like stickers or small erasers, etc. with a price for each. After practicing each value with their coins, ask them to show the correct coins for a treat to earn it. Or show them the correct amount and ask them to correctly count the coins to earn that prize. P.S. We always ask parents to send real coins for their child to practice with in class and we return them at the end of the year. We ask for 22 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, and 4 quarters. I think they do better with the real thing!

Yes they know the little poem/chant. We do the real coins, too. Except we ask for 20 pennies, the rest is the same. I'm curious, why do you ask for 22? It is still the counting on that is the problem. They are better now but still challenged. We are moving on to a new unit this week but I need to keep them working on this.

lemon, I've faced this problem for years. Here is my 1st intervention. Make a sorting sheet -- that has 4 circles the size of quarters. Right under the first circle, print 25, under the second print 50, under he third print 75, under the last print $1. Have the students actually put the coins on the circles, and then touch the amount under the last coin. Make a sorter like this (all on one page) for dimes, nickels, and pennies. Have them put them on the circles, then get the amounts. Now all you have to do is teach them how to add these amounts. You don't want to use this as the first way you introduce coins -- this is just for those 1 or 2 who just can't get it the traditional way. They just need more practice and reinforcement -- and since you can't sit next to them every time they count coins, you are giving them a way to do it without your direct presences. With enough repetition, they will get it. If you try that for a couple of weeks, and they are still struggling, I'll be glad to share my 2nd intervention. It works with students who have specific types of learning disabilities.

We play SPARKLE, with all types of math items that need reviewed. Students all stand in a circle. One at a time they count off, then the next child says sparkle and the one after sits down. Also if they get it wrong, they have to sit down as well. EX: "25!", "50!", "75!", "One dollar!", "SPARKLE!" The next child in the circle sits down. It repeats over until there is only one winner. It is a simple and quick game. It practices a lot of repetition. The good thing is that the kids get SUPER excited about playing. Even if they are out, you can see them whispering the number and following along with the game. This isn't really a one-on-one repetition activity but might be something if you have an extra 1-0 minutes that the entire class can play and practice.

Something tells me you might need to go more basic here, but I may be wrong. As with most topics in math, you need to figure out exactly where your students are losing their way before you attempt to correct it. Counting money requires very specific skills- some of which we take for granted - and if your students are stuck on any one of these, you'll need to backtrack and reteach it very specifically. Some examples: -can they visually distinguish between the fronts of the coins? the backs? ( be very specific, and have them point out the differences, because you never know what they will notice and what will help them. Which way the president is facing, does he wear a wig? a ponytail? is there a collar on his shirt? a beard?. The backs have words but can be hard to see on worksheets. Point out that Lincoln memorial is flat while, Monticello on the nickel has a round dome. I'm not kidding when I tell you how pointing out these differencs saved my students fron aggravation. It sounds crazy, but isnt that how adults see the differences? Review every day before every lesson until they are fluent.) -can they name them and their worth? Sing a song every day, and day before every lesson. I found this one in mailbox magazine: (to tune of: Are you sleeping?") Penny, penny, penny, penny worth one cent, worth one cent nickels are worth five nickels are worth five dimes are ten dimes are ten Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter 25, 25 that's what they are worth that's what they are worth let's count coins let's count coins -do they count from the coin that has the greatest value first? -and very, very important: can they skip count by 5's and tens? can they switch in the middle from 5's to 10s? Chant 1's by 5's and 10's untill 100 every day until they have it down pat. then add in the switch from 5's to 1's then the switch from 10's to 5's. Don't add in the quarters until they are confident with the other dimes nickel and pennies. Take it slow. For some kids, money's a breeze. But for others, its a mess of skills they haven't picked up on yet. I hope these tips are helpful. Let us know how it goes. OH, I just thought of a very cute game that helps with trading in cions that I saw on here once: studentrs roll a die. They take that many pennies rom the pile. When they get 5 pennies they can trade it in for a nickel. First to reach 5 nickels wins. they reallly get the hang of the idea that 5 pennies is a "fair trade" with 1 nickel. Do the same with dimes.

You might also look at the thread that I started a while ago about the Saxon "Count by 10's" rap. It teaches the kids to count by tens starting from any number. This is a big help with counting on!

I think part of the reason counting change can be hard for some is because they have to use start and stop counting and change the amount of how they are counting. For example, if you have some dimes, nickels, and pennies you start counting by tens, then have to stop and switch to fives, then stop again and finish counting by ones. We practice stop and start counting using the number line or number grid as well as practice counting the coins.

That is good for like coins but how do you use it for mixed coins? I like this idea though. Maybe I could put magnetic mixed coins on the wall.

Thank you! Great advice. Where they mess up is something like quarter 3 dimes 2 nickels few pennies They might say 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 73 They will start with the quarter and then when they move to the dime they may mess up. If they get the dime, by the time they get the nickels, they may forget it's 5 and keep skip counting by 10's. It's worse on paper even if they have real coins as manipulatives. I guess repetition is really needed. The skip cointing needs improvement, too.

Yes this is the problem. I've done it with the grid and the number line. These girls like to guess. They think they are better than they are so they will not want to use it. UGH.

Why didn't I think of this? Are you saying you use this for mixed coins, too? All I have is a money mat. There are no circles involved, just a little table with columns with quarter, dime, nickel, penny at the top.

Another way that I am just trying is the touch money. If they were able to identify the coins, I showed them that a quarter gets 5 dots along the edge -- each dot is 5 so when they count the dots by 5's they will get 25. The dime gets 2 dots and the nickel gets 1 dot. The penny doesn't get any because it is only 1. After they get their dots they can go back and count each dot by 5's and then count on by 1 for the pennies. It seemed to help those who were really struggling when it came to changing what way to count on.

I completely forgot that TouchMath has a different system for counting money. This sounds really great for the kids who cant remember when to count by 25, when to count by 10, when to count by 5's.... They essentialy count by 5's all the time. The just touch the quarter 5 times, the dime twice, and the nickel once. does this sound right?

I also give my students choices of how to add the money. Touch points, counting on (typical coin counting), I put stop signs between the different types of coins when counting to signal that they need to stop and think about how they need to count next, and I give an option for them to use their fingers to count by ones when they come to nickels. Somes students are very successful when learning when they put up their hand and count by ones instead of fives when counting mixed coins. Three studens that used this method early on, are now counting using the count on method. My students usually do well with counting by 10's and adding the pennies. They have the most trouble with the nickels. That is why I allow the option of always putting up their hand to count by ones when they have a nickel. Even now when I am introducing the quarter to some students, once they have down the 25, 50, 75, $1 chant, they add quarters and dimes great, but get stuck on the nickel. My goal is for the students to eventually discover the pattern on their own and have their own "aha" moment. I use SPARKLE to reinforce the patterns that we have when counting. The item that helped the most was counting by 10's from any number. Example: "25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, 95, Sparkle, sit down."

Yes, this is right. They would touch the quarter 5 times, the dime 2, and the nickel once. A number of my kids felt successful using this strategy.

For everyone who is suggesting TouchMath, I'd just like to add one thing. Yes, TouchMath works with many students and it is a great system -- but it really isn't as simple as "you touch the quarter 5 times" and "touch the dime twice." TouchMath is a system, and you really need some training to use it correctly and to the fullest potential. (It isn't hard to figure out once you see it, but you have to understand the pattern to it.) It is important in TouchMath where the 5 touch points are, and on the dime where the 2 touch points are, just as it is in any component of TouchMath. There is a sequence in how the numbers are touched that is a part of the reason it is so successful -- especially with LD students. The touchpoints for the quarter (5 touchpoints) are very different from the 5 touchpoints for the number 5. The touchpoints for the number 2 is slightly different from the 2 touchpoints for the dime. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from using TouchMath to teach coins -- just trying to point out that without the training, you may not be using it correctly and you may not have the level of success you hope for. (You can see where the touchpoints are on the coins at this addy http://www.touchmath.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=products.welcome&Cid=33&Pid=125)