Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Money Matters

Today I realized that only some of my students know how to count coins! Some are unsure and a couple were completely and utterly lost!

I'm talking quarters, dimes and nickels - counting in 5s and 10s; knowing that there are 4 quarters in a dollar, that there are 10 dimes in a dollar, that 100 cents = a dollar.
I'm guessing that in this world of ATMs and debit cards not a lot of people have change any more so children just aren't handling money the way they used to but still... I think they should be able to count coins!

Today's Math project was to construct a Rainforest Animal Puppet out of a brown paper lunch bag.
The catch was the kids had to buy all their supplies form the store (aka me!)

Here's the store before shopping began :)

Every child brought in $2.50 in change - 4 quarters, 10 dimes and 10 nickels.

They received a price list of all supplies, a budget planning sheet, a template to design their puppet - and they got a FREE pencil. (I think I was really generous giving them the pencil - I should have made them buy that too!)

They had to buy the bag, scissors and glue - which altogether cost $1.50. There were shrieks of anguish when they realized that they only had $1.00 to spend on decorative supplies but the rules were clear - NO REFUNDS, NO EXCHANGES, no borrowing or lending money or supplies!

They started budgeting. 

(You wouldn't think calculators were required for amounts up to $2.50 but even with them someone managed to spend $310 :) )

They designed their puppets - there was some re-budgeting required here for some spenders.

They started to shop.

They cut and glued and glittered and feathered and crayoned and glittered some more and finally...

...we had some finished products.

Puppet with all supplies bought and 15 cents change
Here's a completed puppet with its price tag - this is how much it cost to make.

And finally - the full bulletin board display!! Ta dah!

Once the puppets were finished we practiced: We counted in 5s and 10s; we made 50 cents in 5 different ways; we figured out how many ways we could make a dollar; we added $0.15 and $0.20...

We're definitely going to have to play with money a LOT more this term!


  1. As always, you have made another meaningful learning experience for your students. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

    1. Fun too :) We're going to have to practice some more though - they really don't know their coins!! Do you know a couple of them suggested ROBBING THE STORE!!! Good job I still have veto power :)

  2. I LOVE this activity! It really gives the students some real life practical knowledge to go along with a FUN activity!

    Mrs. B's Nook

    1. I hope so - but seriously their knowledge of coins is practically non-existent! That's what happens in a world of debit cards :) They were very proud of their puppets though.