Q&A #867

Connecting fractions with money

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 05, 1998 at 12:46:06
Subject: Re: Connecting fractions with money

I second Nina's suggestions, and thought I might add another.

Have you ever heard the cheer "Two Bits, Four Bits, 6 bits, A dollar, all for
 ________ stand up and holler"?  It comes from the way money was used much
earlier in our history. To give change in Williamsburg, VA (and I am sure,
other places as well) in the 1700's shopkeepers would take snips and cut up
the gold and silver coins brought in to pay for purchases. They would
routinely cut the dollar pieces up into eighths (and call them "bits").

I think pieces of eight (the ones we always hear about in pirate stories)
are related to this topic. What if you began with a pirate scarf around
your head, and an eye patch, displayed your "treasure" and then lamented that
it didn't look like the money you were used to at all?  After a quick
history lesson about your money, launch into Nina's activity. You would have
their attention, and a connection to another culture, and a little fun, to.

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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