Money Games

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SWBAT add and subtract money in a variety of situations.

Big Idea

Money is always fun to work with and it helps children manipulate larger numbers.

The Money Centers

55 minutes

Today I want students to use money in different centers. This activity will serve as a review of estimating, money notation, and adding and subtracting with dollars and cents.

I bring students to the rug and explain to them that today they will rotate around 5 centers. At each center there will be a set of directions for them to read and follow. In each of these centers students are making sense of problems, persevering in solving them, and modeling with mathematics (MP1 and MP4). Students are also solving problems with dollars and cents (2MD.C.8)

I assign one person to be the team captain and read the directions to the group and pass out any needed materials. There are 19 students in my classroom so I will assign heterogeneous groups of 4 people (and 1 of 3 ). I ring a bell after 8 minutes to let students know it is almost time to move on and they may need to add up their money, clean up their area, etc. When I ring the bell a second time it is time to move to the next center. 

I go over all of the directions before letting students move to their first center. I allow time for questions or to clear up any confusion before students go. I rotate from center to center helping students once they have started working.

Center 1: Here students will roll 2 different colored dice. The first die is for dollars and the second is for cents. I put out dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies for this activity. They take the amount of dollars and cents that they roll. Their partner then rolls and does the same thing. After the first turn, when students roll and collect money again, they can trade in so if they rolled 6 cents the first time and 5 the second, they could trade in for 1 dime and keep the penny. They can also trade their one dollar bills  for fives or tens. The student with the most money at the end of the 10 minutes wins the game.

Center 2: At this center the students are given a $10.00 bill. There are several objects on the table that they can buy. The students play in partners. The first student purchases an object, and the second must count back the change. The students switch roles. The second time around, the students can only spend from the money they have left. Play ends when one of the students has no money left (or not enough to purchase anything). For this activity I use a variety of small toys such as baseball cards, bouncy balls, colorful pencils, etc. I price the items at under $2.00 each. Students have ones, dimes and pennies for making change. Students have worked in the past with counting up change with dimes and pennies so I purposefully leave out quarters and nickels to have them use their place value understanding of ones and tens (pennies and dimes) to make change. 

Center 3: At this center the students work in partners. There is a pile of cards on the table. The cards are numbered from 1 -9. Students begin by drawing 4 cards each. They each create a number with dollars and cents. They record their numbers on the white board and then roll a + - dice to see if they need to add or subtract the numbers. They use a math strategy to add or subtract the numbers together. 

Center 4: The Allowance Game is a commercially produced game where students are given an allowance and then can add or subtract from their money using the items on the board. You can substitute another game or activity of your choosing, if you do not own this one.

Center 5: Challenge problem pageA Day at the Farm.pdf. The challenge problem page is one where a child goes to the farm to help out for the day and is paid a different amount for each job he/she does. Children work together to figure out how much the child makes at each animal station. 


5 minutes

To assess if students are comfortable reading and writing money amounts and adding and subtracting within $10.00. I ask students to return to their desks after the last center is cleaned up. I ask them to take out their math journals. Now I put a money amount on the board and ask them to write that amount in words, without saying it out loud. $24.87 . Next I say the amount $53.29 and ask them to write it in numbers in their books. I ask them how much money they would have left if they had $6.00 and they spent $5.18.  Finally I ask them if they had $1.59 and they found 4 dimes, how much would they have in all.  I check their journals to assess understanding of reading and writing in decimal notation and for adding and subtracting with money. I know this is only a single problem of each, but it gives me one piece of evidence for how students are understanding what we have been doing. It would not be my only piece of evidence in grading, or deciding who needed more practice.