Lesson plan

Money Math!

Money makes the world go 'round, but do your students know why money is important? In this lesson, students will learn the real world applications of money, as well as how to make a dollar with various coins.
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Students will learn the monetary values of coins and how these coins can be used to make one dollar.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students what they know about money. Example questions: What is money? Why do we need to learn about money? How is money used in real life? Who uses money? Where is money used?
(8 minutes)
  • Introduce, or review, the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter by showing students the coins and going over the value of each coin type.
  • Show one way to make a dollar using coins.
  • Ask students for other coin combinations that add up to make a dollar.
(5 minutes)
  • Partner up your students into groups of two or three.
  • Tell your students that they will be working to come up with at least five different ways to make a dollar using coins.
  • Tell your students that they need to agree with their partner(s) and write down their results on a piece of paper each time they get a result that adds up to a dollar.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the necessary coins needed for each group and let them experiment.
  • While students are working with their partner(s), walk around the classroom and observe the students. Guide those who seem to be struggling.
  • Ask open ended questions with each group. Example: How did you come up with that answer? If you start out with a quarter, what other coins could you use to make it add up to one dollar?
  • Enrichment: Students who need more of a challenge can try to find the least amount of coins needed to make a dollar as well as the most.
  • Support: Pair struggling students with a peer mentor who has a firm grasp on the concept. This student could then explain in their own words how to add up the coins. Another idea would be to have these students use coins to add up to a smaller amount and work their way up, such as 10 cents, then 20, then 50 and so on.
(10 minutes)
  • Take note of how students answer your open ended questions as you rotate to determine whether or not more practice is needed in this area.
  • Collect the groups' result papers and check it for correctness.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to share one of their results with the class.
  • Ask for anyone who has a different way of making a dollar until you feel the students have really grasped the concept.

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