Just after the earthquake in Haiti our school decided to do a penny drive. This is a school with about 65% of our students receiving free/reduced lunch. The money poured in for the week and a half we ran the drive.
Lucky for us, this happened just as we were studying coins. So we brought in donations from other classes and figured out how much money was there. We started by sorting the coins (great practice for those students who were still struggling with identifying the different coins). Then we counted each type. We used hundreds charts to figure out how many of each coin was there. Students then had to figure out how to count (by 1s, 5s, 10s). It was an interesting challenge for some.
The few quarters were saved for groups up for the challenge!
This was an amazing learning experience for my class. Eventually they did count groups of pennies, nickels, and dimes. I was quite impressed with them.
Also, the school brought in about $2,200 for the relief efforts in Haiti!
(The penny drive was suggested by a third grade class and my first grade daughter. Honestly, I couldn't be prouder.)