How Can I Make $.35? : Using our Knowledge of Coins to Build A Total

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SWBAT determine the coins necessary to make a total.

Big Idea

Students use their knowledge of coins to build a total.

Entrance Ticket

10 minutes

I start class by handing out an entrance ticket to students.  I allow students 5 minutes to work on the entrance ticket.  When finished, I go over the question with students, allowing at least one student to share his/her strategy for solving the problem.

Entrance ticket:

I am at the grocery store and see the following items:











I decide the buy the cereal and the milk.  How much money do I need? 

This entrance ticket reviews the objectives from previous days and sets the stage for students to determine the coins they need to make a total since students may break the amount they need for the cereal and milk down into coins. 

Introduction to New Material

10 minutes

Now I need to figure out how I can make $.62.  On the bottom of your entrance ticket. I want you to draw the coins you would need to be able to afford the milk and the cereal. 

 I allow students 2-3 minutes to work.  As students work, I circulate to check for understanding. 

Turn and Talk: What coins do you need to be able to afford all three items?  How do you know?

As students share, again I circulate to check for understanding and determine student strategies. Some students may start with the largest coin (quarter or half dollar), others might make a bar model, others might create the total using tens and ones (dimes and pennies). 

When students are finished sharing, ask 2-3 students who have used different strategies to share out their answers and strategies.  I reinforce that it is okay to have different strategies/answers - there are different ways of getting to the correct amount. In order to prove this, I ask students to "prove" their answer either by showing their work on the white board or using coin manipulatives. 

As students share, I write their strategies on the board so that all students will be able to reference the strategies later on. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

Now you are going to work in partners on a practice problem.  You can use coin manipulatives to help you solve the problem.

I allow students to work in heterogenous pairs for 5-10 minutes.  (Students may use coins to help them solve the problem if it helps them visualize the problem). 

When finished, I bring students back together and have students share different ways that they solved the problem.  As students share, I write the various ways to make $.89 cents on the board so that students can visualize the wide variety of ways to solve the problem.

Independent Practice

10 minutes

I tier independent practice by my students' facility with money: 

Group A (In need of intervention)

Group A will work with the teacher to determine how to build a total.  This group will have access to coin manipulatives. 

Group B (Right on track!)

Group B will work independently to determine how to build a total.  They will be expected to find ONE way to build a total.

Group C (Extension)

Group C will work independently to determine how to build a total.  They will be expected to find MORE THAN ONE way to build a total. 


5 minutes

I bring students back to the carpet.  I ask students to share their work and their strategies with a teammate. I ask students to share so that they can hear different ways to successfully solve this type of problem.  Additionally, I purposefully pair students so students in the C group are sharing their strategies with students in the A group--thus these students are getting exposure to more complex strategies and ways to group coins. 

If time permits, I ask one student from each group to share their work with the class.