Thursday, March 29, 2012

Math Time!

My school uses Everyday Math and one of the recent activities had to do with place value. Each morning during calendar time, one of our daily activities is counting the days we have been in school (today was 141!) and we use straws and number cards to show place value. Even with this daily routine, I realize I always do that part and my kids aren't really getting it. So, to get to the point...I was talking with my husband (high school teacher) and got this idea from him:
Using dimes and pennies to represent the tens and ones, respectively. (Why couldn't I come up with that?) All I knew was I didn't have base ten blocks to use and I wanted the lesson to be meaningful for my kinders. I just hand- drew the tens and ones mats (or you can grab this simple Place Value Chart here) and let my students work in pairs. We did this as a whole group on the carpet. I gave each set of partners a mat, ten dimes (I used plastic ones from my math center), and nine pennies (I used real pennies because we had $12 worth after the Class Collection activity from two weeks before!). 

 On the board I wrote a number (example: 43) and showed the class how to make that number with 4 dimes (counting by tens) and 3 pennies (counting by ones). As a bonus at the end of the lesson, I asked students to show me how to make the number 100. About half got it right away :), however several tried to count out the pennies and realized it wouldn't work. *In case anyone is curious, I only gave 9 pennies to ensure their success in using only dimes to represent tens.  

This little money chart is also part of our daily calendar routine. As we count the days of the school year and use straws for place value, we also use this cute chart (I got it on clearance from Really Good Stuff!)When we got to the 100th day, we traded all those pennies for the dollar! (What a big deal!) Now, when we count, I remind students that while there are only so many pennies on the chart, the dollar represents the hundreds place. 

I couldn't resist sharing this photo. Kids have a tough time with tally marks (just like money!) and we do tally marks each day with our weather routine to try to really give them time to grasp it. This little angel used his string cheese to make tally marks! I love it when kids take what we teach them and make it their own! These are the moments teachers treasure! :)


  1. I love the tally marks with the string cheese! Do you have Breakfast in the Classroom?

    I am happy to be your first follower! =)

    I would love for you to visit me if you get the chance! =)

    Heather's Heart

    1. Thanks Heather! Happy to have you and I am now a Heather's Heart follower as well! :)
      We do have breakfast in the classroom and I have caught my kids using their food on more than one occasion! The moments when our students take things we teach and make them their own are the moments that make it all worth it! :)