Counting money is such a fun skill to practice. I love all the great ideas out there on Pinterest and I’m always amazed at how excited students get when real money is involved. Here are a few ideas that can easily be mixed into your math centers for some counting money fun.
I love the “Counting Coins in Cupcakes” math center! This is a re-usable center that students can change out for you over the course of the year….win-win!
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All you need to do is take dot stickers that you can find at your local office supply store, or dollar store, and write different coin amounts on each sticker. To easily differentiate this center, you can add more challenging amounts, including dollar and cents.
Place each dot sticker on the inside of a silicone cupcake liner (you can use paper ones, but silicone holds up longer).
Using real coins, let students count out each amount shown in the cupcake liner. They place that amount of coins in the cupcake liner and then move onto the next one. I have students use a Coin Counting Recording Sheet (grab this freebie below) to draw their coin combinations. This allows them to work independently and gives me a chance to check their understanding at a later time.
My favorite part about this center is letting students change the center out for me. Give students the dot stickers, a pen, and they can change the coin amounts on each cupcake liner.
Finally, I store this center in a small storage bin, so students can easily grab it as an early-finisher activity. It’s great for review all year long!
Another student-favorite activity that is a fun and hands-on way to reinforce money skills, are Math Tiles. Students are given number tiles 0-9 and challenged to solve for the different coin amounts, using all the tiles on each tile card.
Here’s another set of Math Tiles that practices making change within $1.00:
Finally, this math center is all the rage…SOLVE IT STRIPS! Students beg for this math center. It can be done independently as an early-finisher activity, or used during guided math groups. The best part is, Solve It Strips are a self-checking activity and NO PREP for the teacher. Take a look at the Counting Coins set in action…
Each Solve It Strip set has 15 task cards. Students take a Solve It Strip and cut the math puzzle pieces apart (optional: I let students outline the coins with crayons, which helps them identify each one before they begin).
Next, they place the “START” piece in the top rectangle and solve for the coin amount shown on that strip. Then, they find that amount on another strip and place it below the START strip.
Students continue solving coin amounts and placing strips below one another.
Finally, students will get to the “FINISH” strip if they have correctly completed each strip. This allows students to self-check their work because they won’t be able to finish the math puzzle if an answer is incorrect.
Students easily store these on book rings for easy access all year long. Answer keys and student progress sheets are also included and there are currently over 20 sets available in my store (more continue to be added!).