Money Bounce

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SWBAT identify all coin values. SWBAT count nickels and pennies individually.

Big Idea

Students start counting money while also reviewing coin identification in this lesson focused on the nickel and penny!

Objective & Hook

10 minutes

CCSS Context:

In 2nd grade, students are expected to be able to solve word problems using money. This lesson allows kids to extend their understanding of counting patterns from first grade, or works as an introduction to counting money in first grade.

Review past learning:

I'll quickly review the Coin Anchor Chart from yesterday's lesson!

We will play a quick game to review the coin names. You can find this Spinner Game on BrainPOPjr. I'll project the spinner on the Promethean board and have students tally the coins onto the Spinner Recording Sheet Brainpop provides as a pdf download. We won't count the values of the coin, we will just work on identification. This website does require a login.

Connect to real world:

The coins we work with today are important because when we go into the real world, we have to be able to count the total value of the coins you have. 


Your thinking job is: How much is each coin worth? How do I count these coins? 

Opening Discussion

15 minutes

During the Opening Discussion, I am going to define the values of the coins, while also connecting the values to cube representations. Coin values are so abstract! Connecting the values to coin groups makes them more concrete, and first graders need concrete models as they first learn new material. 

Present a group of pennies:

  • Define: Each penny is worth 1 cent. That is kind of like when we use 1 cube to represent each penny. When I count pennies, I count them by 1s because each coin only is worth 1 cent.
  • Check for Understanding: Turn and Talk - tell your partner why we count pennies by 1s.
  • Let’s look at a group of pennies and practice counting them. (I show a group of pennies, and students count them).  How much money do we have?

Present the Nickel:

  • How are you sure this is a nickel?
  • Define: A nickel is worth 5 cents. We would need 5 cubes to represent a nickel.
  • Predict: We count pennies by ones because they are worth 1 cent. How will we count nickels?
  • We will count a group of nickels as a class.

To prepare students to count money on their own, I'll present a group of nickels/pennies and not tell the students which coin it is. Then I'll have them record the coins they see on whiteboards and show how to count them. Whiteboards are fantastic because they allow all students to practice the concept, while also giving me the opportunity to check in with anyone who is struggling.

Watch the attached Whiteboard video to see how students are working, recording the coins and showing their thinking.

Student Share

15 minutes

Teacher Prep: I’ll have sorting bags with pretend dimes, nickels and pennies in them for students to use all unit. Everyday, we are doing a lot of sorting so students get a lot of practice identifying the coins.

Present sorting task: Before we get started on the game we are going to play today, I want you and your partner to sort your bag into pennies, nickels and dimes.

  • When students finish, challenge them to check the dime and nickel sections again. Students tend to mix these two coins up!
  • After students sort, they will put all the dimes back in the bag. We won’t be using those today.

Present counting task:

  • How will you count the amount of money in pennies? Why?
  • Will you count the nickels by 1s? No? Why not?

I’ll model writing the amount under each coin and explain, “When you count money, it helps you keep track of how much money you have by writing how you are counting. When you count your coins, I want you to write how much money under each coin.”

Partner Work: I’ll have students show how many pennies and nickels they have by drawing a circle with either P or N inside it. Then students write how to count the amount of money.

Debrief: I’ll share one student’s grouping to the class and we will write how they counted it.   

Independent Practice

15 minutes

All students work on counting nickels and pennies separately. I differentiated this activity to meet the needs of 3 different student groups. 

Group A: Intervention

Students do coin sort with picture support. Students count the amount of money in pennies and in nickels.

Group B: Right on Track

Students do coin sort without picture support. Students count the amount of money in pennies and in nickels. See Student Work Example for an example!

Group C: Extension

Students play coin exchange. Everytime you get five pennies, trade it in for a nickel. When you get to 25 cents, start over. 

Nickel Penny Sort is attached!


8 minutes

Students play an online interactive game called Peter Pig's Money Counter that I project onto the Promethean Board. This is aligned to the CCSS vision for more exposure to technology in all grade levels and is aligned to the first grade need for games and fun! 

Choose the easy level and it is a coin sorting activity. I am going to have students put all of the pennies in first, counting how much money is in the jar, and then do the same routine for the nickels. Then we will sort the dimes and quarters without focusing on how to count the amount of money.