Q&A #459

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Counting Money

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From: Loyd

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001100207:56:15
Subject: Re: counting money & making change

On 1 Oct 01 10:06:41 -0400 (EDT), Gayle Mosley wrote:
>	I would like to get some insight on teaching money to my student. He
>is a special ed. child with a 3rd grade level. And is having trouble
>making change. 
>Can you help me?

I am not that great at counting money.  But I would recommend that the
student be able to count to 100 by 5's, 10's and 25's first.  When I
tutor, I use play money and/or real money.

Kids do not always know what you are trying to do.  I usually try to
give them a picture of a real life event of going to a store that they
are familiar with.  I have tutored some 5th and 6th graders who didn't
understand the concept at first.  You need to go through the steps
that a clerk (or machine) performs in the store.  (The problem here,
is that the machine does all the work, nowadays.)

1.   Clerk adds up the total bill
2.   Customer gives clerk money which may be more than needed 
3.   Then the clerk subtracts 2. from 1. and gives you the change by
counting back from the total to the amount given. 

The clerk would say as he/she gave you the total followed by a dime, a
quarter and two 1-dollar bills:
 $17.65, 17.75, 18.00, 19.00 and 20.00.

You can see the clerk gave you  $2.35.  

Students often don't think to do step 1 first.  They are used to doing
single step problems and this requires two arithmetic operations.

Students don't often see the above process now because the machine
scans the items, adds them up and prints the change at the bottom of
the receipt.  

We still need to learn to make change the same as we did a few years
ago.  I am sure there a few places left that make changes by counting

Counting money is about the same as making change.  Count the biggest
bills followed by the smaller ones in order of size then count the

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