Does anyone have any good ideas for teaching money. Right now we are working on nickels and pennies and eventually moving up to the dollar. I need some center activities to supplement my whole class discussions. They seem to understand it when we are talking and doing examples but when they go to centers and work without me it seems to all go away. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Set up a little store with prices so that they can buy things with the money...They have to be able to count out the right price to purchase it. My co-teachers suggested to me using real money because they say the fake stuff doesn't look like the real money.

I made up sheets for each coin. For nickels I just drew a medium sized circle on the left. Then I drew an arrow to another smaller circle I drew on the right. In the larger circle the kids traced and colored brown 5 pennies. THen they said aloud I can trade 5 pennies for 1 nickel.(I made some rhyme with it) They would take the pennies and trade them for one nickel which they would trace and color gray. They enjoyed it. Hope it helped and made sense. Have fun!!!

I have a sorting activity using coins so they can learn the difference between the looks of the coins. I use fake coins, but the other teachers at school use real coins. They don't have a problem with theft - they tell the students the coins will go towards our field trips (which is true!). I made a coin sorting sheet with 4 columns, one for each coin, and used coin stickers to label the columns. Afterwards, they have to fill out a sheet saying how many of each coin they found. You can also do a graphing sheet with coins as well.

I use big magnetic coins - penny, nickel, dime, quarter. 1 student comes up and the rest close their eyes... The student that is at the board, hides one of the coins. The rest of the class tries to guess what coin is missing. You can ask how much is the coin that is missing, you can hide 2 at a time, etc...

I play a coin exchange game. I put them into groups of 2-3 kids. Each group gets a spinner with the numbers 1-4. They also get a chart containing 5 empty squares. The first kid will spin and he will put the corresponding amount of pennies in the empty squares on the chart. If he fills it up with 5 pennies, he can exchange them for 1 nickel. If he doesn't have enough for an exchange his partner spins. The second child's pennies are added to the ones that the first child got. If he fills up the chart then he gets to exchange the pennies for 1 nickel. The kids keep playing until either time is up or until the bank doesn't have anymore nickels. When they are finished playing I have the kids count their nickels by 5's and the child with the most money wins. We also play a dime exchange game, but I use dice instead of spinners. Also, this year my kids were fascinated with the state quarters. They really got into bringing in quarters from home to show me. We ended up taping them to an old US map that I had. We are trying to get as many as we can. It has been a good ongoing geography lesson.

I thought of something else! When I worked in a 1st or 2nd grade class the teacher used money as her behavior plan. Each morning she would look at her chart to see how many sticks each child had left (they started with 3) from the day before and they got a penny for each stick. Every friday they got to exchange pennies for nickles, nickles for dimes, etc....Then every so often she had a store (stuff that parents donated from the dollar store or from cleaning out their kids rooms, happy meal toys, even baked goods!) and the kids used their money to buy what they wanted.

Learning money is hard! We use money throughout the entire year during calendar. On the first day of school we put one cent into our money jar. Day 2, 2 cents, etc. It is very exciting on the 100th day to get to put in a dollar! At the end of the year we go on a walking field trip to an ice cream store! I put coins in my bean table (a sand table with dry beans in it) and students have to find them all and sort them into jars. They do money rubbings - I glued coins onto cardstock. They do rubbings and then write the value next to each coin. We inspect coins with magnifying glasses and note similarities and differences. We do a Venn diagram together. We play a "give me 5" game where one student has a penny and a nickel. Behind their back they put one in each hand and bring closed hands in front of them. The other student picks a hand. If it has the nickel in it, they give each other a high 5. I did something unplanned this year which turned out to be a big hit. We were examining coins and they each had a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. I talked about how people who can't see can still learn to distinguish coins. We closed our eyes and I told them to find the nickel or the coin that was worth 1 cent, etc. They held it up when they thought they found it. I made up a board game with pictures of coins on the spaces. They collect coins as they go along. When they all get to the end they count up what they have and make exchanges - 5 pennies for a nickel, etc. I have also done the behavior plan where they earn money. From time to time they would exchange coins. Our 3rd grade buddies were doing an economics unit and developed a cookie company. The did market research to find out my students' favorite kinds of cookies, advertised, etc. One day my students were able to use the money they had earned to buy cookies.

I did something similar, I had the four different coins in a big bowl of rice, and they had to scoop in and pull them out and sort them. It was a good introduction however it was messy! Also, there is a coin Tic-Tac-Toe game in the Mailbox magazine (not this year but I believe it was last year). It is a good one. Great ideas!

Put all the coins in one pile. This is the bank. Players take turns. At each turn, a player rolls a die and collects the pennies shown on the die from the bank. Whenever players have at least 5 pennies, they say “Exchange!” and trade 5 of their pennies for a nickel in the bank. The game ends when there are no more nickels in the bank. The player who has more nickels wins. If players have the same number of nickels, the player with more pennies wins.