Hello, we are on our money unit and its proving very difficult for my students. We do the "hairy money" so we draw hair on the coins and skipcount by 5's. It's been helpful having that visual as my students are fairly low. I'm finding that the biggest problem is adding the pennies onto the end. The still want to count by 5's, even though the penny has no hair. They struggle to switch from the rhythm of counting by 5's to just counting by 1. Any suggestions?! We have tried drawing a line to signal stopping and to switch our counting. We also did "taking a breath". Where we stop counting and take a breath before we count our pennies. Any help at all would be great! Thanks!

We count coins together every day at Calendar Math time, starting on Day 1. I have the kids clap their hands when changing to a different coin. By this time of year, we're counting pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters...

jov - I love that you start from day one with counting coins/money. I have thought of this, but never had the guts to try it out. I think I may try it out in the fall. Thanks for sharing!

as jov. I do my calendar time on the Smart Board - very similar to jmeacham.com. Jov is right... by the time you get to it most students are pretty familiar with it. I teach K in a rural Title 1 school so my students need the constant repetition. I start very basic and build on it throughout the year. I like the idea of clapping when changing to different coins. Songs are great, too. Jack Hartman's "Show Me the Money" is one of my kids' favorites.

use various combinations of coins to reflect the date--at least they get to count coins to 31.
I use a small pocket chart and put in real coins, different combinations to equal the date in different pocket layers. One pocket is all pennies, the next nickels and pennies, the next dimes and pennies, the quarter plus coins. Until we get to 5 there are only pennies in each pocket, then nickel plus pennies until 10 cents. So there is a row of 10 pennies, a row with 2 nickels, a row with one dime. They have to switch count every day because on day 9 there are 9 pennies, 1 nickel and 4 pennies, etc.

I hope this make sense.

The more experience, the easier it becomes. The real difficulty is stopping the mindless reciting of whatever denomination of coin comes first and applying it to all of the mixed coins. I think all the rote skip counting puts them into autopilot mode.

I also do coin counting with my calendar time and I am having very little difficulties with counting money in our unit. I am amazed by how well all of my students are doing. I only have on or two students that are having difficulty with money.

My first graders sit in a circle and we do the counting, with the 100 grid available. I have big coins, so I hold up the quarter when we count by 25's (I also have them chant 25, 50, 75, 100) during calendar from day 1.) We switch to 10's or 5's, depending on whether I hold up a big dime or a big nickle. They count one at a time, around the circle, so they really need to pay attention. And I give them a few groups of coins to count most days, and they count and write the total on their white boards. On Fridays we do math centers, and one of the centers is always some game with counting money. You can also assign it for HW practice. Nothing beats one on one practice.

I do the same with the calendar and start on the first day of school. My kids also recite this poem before we add the penny for the day:

Money Poem
Penny, penny, easily spent,
Copper brown and worth one cent.

Nickel, nickel, thick and fat,
You’re worth 5 cents I know that.

Dime, dime, little and thin,
I remember—you’re worth 10.

Quarter, quarter, big and bold,
You’re worth 25, I am told.

I also try to trick the kids and give them a different coin other than a penny when they add it to the piggy bank (quick little assessment). They think it's hysterical and say things like"That's not a penny, that's a dime."