Non-teachers may want to skip this post. I purposely don't say much about my school kids on this blog. So much is confidential and I believe there is a line that shouldn't be crossed as a professional. With that being said, this is by far my hardest year of teaching yet! I'm dealing with a lot of maturity issues, several academic problems, and a few behavior issues thrown in. Lets just say May 25 is sounding sweeter all the time!
Our district uses Saxon Math which I really like but feel that it's weak in teaching money. So I stopped the curriculum this week to do my own money unit. I started Tuesday with a detailed review of all the coins and their value. I noticed that several students were struggling so later in the day I pulled each child aside for a quick one-on-one assessment. I used the basic four coins, two of each for heads and tails, and just asked them to tell me the name of the coin. Not even the value. I got a little light headed when I realized only 3 kids could name all 8 coins! This is a KINDERGARTEN SKILL! That's no reflection on previous teachers. It's just these group of kids.
It's moments like these that all lesson plans go out the window. How can you teach counting money if they don't know the coins. So I changed my focus to simply learning the coins this week.
The first part of my new game plan included sending home these simple flashcards that I whipped up. I included a note about how this was a Kindergarten skill and they would need practice at home.
Next we made a bubble chart about each coin. I borrowed this idea from here.
Then, we played the stomp game. I laid big cut outs on the carpet. Two kids would compete at once. I would stay things like stomp on five cents, stomp of the heads of a quarter, or stomp on Thomas Jefferson. This is a classroom favorite! The child that doesn't wins has to set down until the next game.
My final game I came across this morning here. I called it broke. The kids would pull out a stick with a coin hot glued on. If they identified the coin it went into the middle, if not it went back into the container. We kept going until someone pulled out a stick that said broke...then they all would go back into the container.
I'm hoping next week looks brighter in the money teaching department! I have several centers from the teacher's clubhouse that I really like and hope we get to use them.
Last year we used touch money. I created this printable that I put on card stock and laminate for each child. It works great! After you learn where the dots are on the coins, you count the dots by five. I think of it as a crutch. If you need extra support use it, if not don't. Third grade teachers have told us that their kids this year are so much better at money than kids in the past.