Hello all, We have been studying money for the past two weeks. The first week, we studied pennies, their value, how many pennies are in a dollar, and how to count them. My students did great, and were actually bored with the pennies. Last week, we added nickels to the mix. Throughout the week, they did great. We began by skip counting to 100 by 5's. No problem, they had been doing that since Kindergarten. We talked about the relationship between a penny and a nickel, a penny and a dollar, and a nickel and a dollar. no problem. We "bought" things with mixes of pennies and nickels in different amounts. They counted X nickels and X pennies to discover a total. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Then came Friday (test day). Their test consisted of 15 "problems". (I'm not sure what else to call them.) Each problem listed an amount (ex: 7 cents - using the cent sign). They were given the word nickels with a blank following it, and the word pennies with a blank as well. Further, they were given the total number of coins to be used in parenthesis. I even wrote "nickel = 5 cents" and "penny = 1 cent" on the board. Interestingly, several of my "middle" students were doing great on this test. They flew through it with few if any problems. It was not the same for my "high achieving" students. They just sat there looking at the paper. I called them over individually and coached them on the worth of each coin, and showed them the number of coins needed, to no avail. I gave them "plastic" coins so they could visually work it out. No good. I all but gave them the answers! It was so bad, that I took all of the tests and threw them in the trash can, and told the kids not to worry about it. I have to add dimes to the mix this week. Help!!! I have never taught first grade before (I am a LTS for a teacher on maternity leave). Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!