Second graders have been working on a math unit on money! Students will learn how to count coins up to $1.00, show several ways to make a given amount, and compare two sets of coins. I have found that some students still have difficulty identifying the coins while other students are proficient with counting money but still need help when we challenge them to count amounts greater than $1.00. Here are some ways to practice at home.

1. Sort coins at home

2. Count coins at home

3. Play store

4. Talk about money in real-life situations like when you visit the grocery store – How much money should I give the cashier? How much change should you get back?

5. Make an amount of money more than one way

6. Make a chart for your child to earn money

7. Compare the prices of similar items – Which one costs more? How do you know?

8. Play Race to $1.00 – Here’s how:

- 1. Each player gets 5 turns.

- 2. Toss the number cube and take that many coins. You must take, all dimes, all nickels, or all pennies.

- 3. For each turn, record the value of what you took.

- 4. After each turn, count your total amount of money. If your total goes over $1.00, you are out of the game.

- 5. The person with the total closest to $1.00 wins!

Touch money is one strategy that the second grade teachers will introduce to their classes. In touch money, students put dots on the coins (quarter = 5 dots, dime = 2 dots, nickel = 1 dot, penny = 0 dots). Each dot stands for 5 cents. Students touch each dot as they count the coins. This seems to reduce confusion, so encourage them to put dots on (start with actually putting dots on then move to "mentally" putting them on) when working with money if you sense confusion or a problem.

1. Sort coins at home

2. Count coins at home

3. Play store

4. Talk about money in real-life situations like when you visit the grocery store – How much money should I give the cashier? How much change should you get back?

5. Make an amount of money more than one way

6. Make a chart for your child to earn money

7. Compare the prices of similar items – Which one costs more? How do you know?

8. Play Race to $1.00 – Here’s how:

- 1. Each player gets 5 turns.

- 2. Toss the number cube and take that many coins. You must take, all dimes, all nickels, or all pennies.

- 3. For each turn, record the value of what you took.

- 4. After each turn, count your total amount of money. If your total goes over $1.00, you are out of the game.

- 5. The person with the total closest to $1.00 wins!

Touch money is one strategy that the second grade teachers will introduce to their classes. In touch money, students put dots on the coins (quarter = 5 dots, dime = 2 dots, nickel = 1 dot, penny = 0 dots). Each dot stands for 5 cents. Students touch each dot as they count the coins. This seems to reduce confusion, so encourage them to put dots on (start with actually putting dots on then move to "mentally" putting them on) when working with money if you sense confusion or a problem.