August 14, 2009

Learn to recognize coins

Image by Stopnlook

In the past few days I decided it's time for my younger girl to start learning how to recognize coins and learn the cent-values of various coins. She's generally been doing kindergarten-1st grade addition and subtraction and I figured she's ready.

First, I got a pile of pennies, a pile of nickels, and a pile of dimes (no quarters at first). We played where I told her to make a certain amount, such as "Make 24 cents." She made it, I checked. Then she told me to make some amount. We just take turns.

It's like a game, and great fun for her! I figure it'll work the same with other kindergarten or 1st grade kids.

Since she did pretty good, I was able to introduce quarters the next day. I showed her that two of them makes 50, and we practiced making 62 or 58 or other such amounts that use 2 quarters.

Then I showed her a quarter and a nickel, and we figured out how much that was. That's always a difficult thing - to combine just one quarter with other coins. I soon asked her to make 30 cents, or 32 - and she was able to use the quarter and nickel combination to make 30 cents.

One important thing I've done is that I have deliberately NOT yet introduced the words "nickel", "dime", and "quarter". She's heard of the penny so much that she was fine with that. I want to scaffold the teaching so that we'll first learn the coin values, and later the customary names.

So, in essence, for now I've been calling them as "5-cent coin", "10-cent coin", and "25-cent coin". Has anyone else done that?
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