Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Making Change

I'm stuck. The calendar program we use (which I love!) has the kids making change from a quarter based on each day's date. So, today on the 12th, we had to pretend to pay for something costing 12 cents with a quarter. They had to figure out the change. Most of them don't get it. That doesn't shock me because I can't figure out how to help them understand it. It's such a tough concept. Any thoughts?

7 comments:

Teacherninja said...

Sounds like a silly program. My daughter isn't even in first yet and would have piped up with, "But I don't think you can buy anything for 12 cents!" I've heard her say things like that before.

I teach 2nd graders who don't get this. I think it's not developmentally appropriate.

j4luck said...

I recall learning addition and subtraction, although I feel like it was second or third grade.
What I remember was the teacher used skittles. She handed them out (and of course told us not to eat them now, we could eat them later.) She had us count how many we had, then take away a certain number and count the remainder. As we did this she set the problem up on the board so that we could see how the concept looked in mathmatical form. It must have been effective because I am 31 and still remember the lesson clearly!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what your kids already know and can do. And how basic to get, but here's an idea.

Explain that when we pay for something, we often use a coin or dollar.

This coin or dollar is usually worth more than the item that we are purchasing.

The storekeeper does not want to take more of our money that is needed to pay for the item, so he has to take our coin, take out the cost of the item, and give us the leftover.

Show them how to breakdown a quarter. We can break it down into two dimes and a nickel, or one dime, 2 nickels and 5 pennies. Or 25 pennies. Or 5 nickels. Etc...

Have the kids practice breaking down a quarter into different parts.

Then, tell them to take 12 cents from their pile to pay for the item. Ask them to count what is left. That is the change that goes back to the customer.

They'll begin to notice that they need to break it down to a combination with at least 5 pennies, so they can take away the 2 cents from the 12 cents.

The more you can help them realize that we can break down numbers into different forms, the better off they'll be in math.

Anonymous said...

Can your students solve problems like Sue has 12 cents and Bob has 25 cents. Who has more? How much more? Or could they do this with single digit numbers?
Until they are comfortable telling how much more one quantity is than another, I don't think making change is developmentally appropriate.

organized chaos said...

yeah, I never did that part of the calendar (maybe because I didn't understand it). There are better ways to teach the concept without confusing them day after day...

ya ya's mom said...

could you show them how to count up?

Anonymous said...

Who is writing curriculum these days? The First Graders I tutor are being asked to convert 8+7 to 10+5 and then add. Are these people nuts? And the workbook is over 600 pages.