Tuesday, February 23, 2010



Feb21_Money1

This week math and science was all about money. I brought our loose change jar over to the kitchen, and we talked about various coins. Anna happily sorted them into four plastic boxes based on their denomination. Nickels were the hardest for her – hey, even I sometimes cannot distinguish them from quarters. We also had a few foreign coins mixed in, so we talked a little how different countries use different money.Feb21_Money2

We took the pennies and we looked at them more closely. We talked about how some of them are shiny and new and some are looking very dark. Then I explained Anna that pennies can be cleaned in different ways. We set up three bowls – one with clean water, one with soapy water and one with the solution of salt and vinegar. Anna had a lot of fun scrubbing her pennies in the soapy water and then compared them to those that just lay quietly in salt-vinegar solution. We agreed that salt-vinegar cleans best, but I actually expected it to work better than it did. I probably didn’t use the right mix. Anna also wrinkled her nose at the smell of salt-vinegar bowl, and I explained to her that the coins there are being cleaned by a very sour liquid called an acid.

Feb21_Money3

After the coin cleaning turned into trying to splash water from the first bowl all the way into the third bowl we wrapped up our science project and played shopping. Anna was delighted to play shopping “with real money”. By the end of the game she could kind of connect to the idea that a nickel is the same as five pennies, and that was about as far as I thought she could go at the moment. She still can’t grasp the idea that 8 cents can be made with a nickel and 3 cents, but it’s OK. We had a fun time learning and doing, and that’s what really matters.

For more science ideas, visit Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom

11 comments:

Kylie said...

Love money work, it so real for them even if they don't fully grasp it just yet.

Kim said...

Anna did great. Crumpet totally doesn't understand that a nickel equals 5 pennies!

MaryAnne said...

Great science experiment cleaning pennies with different solutions!

I think all of my early math lessons were using coins. My family sold corn from the back of a pick-up truck, and I "helped". All that counting change paid off once I went to school - the addition and subtraction worksheets were very easy!

Risa said...

A friend who did the 'clean your pennies' experiment using lots of different things (lemon juice, coke, etc.) found that cleaning it with hot sauce from Taco bell worked best! Just FYI, if you ever repeat.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

At least it was the water she was splashing, and not the vinegar! Great pics, too, it looks like Anna was really enjoying herself.

Debbie said...

Love the opportunity to teach about cleaning solutions and the incorporation of math at the same time. Oh but mom the splashing is all the fun!

Ticia said...

I had second graders that weren't getting that concept, so Anna not getting it.......
I loved your cleaning money science experiment. So much fun.

Adriana said...

Great idea for an activity! Diego knows next to nothing about "real" money because I always use my debit card.

Our Little Family said...

What a great experiment! I remember cleaning pennies for my dad when I was younger (and I think I recall using hot sauce??). I'm sure this is something Maddie would love, since she's very much into cleaning and water and soap!
-Jill

SMMART ideas said...

Have you tried ketchup?

I think you might enjoy some of the SMMART Math ideas at my site and there are several for your money math unit that you're working on right now...my particular favorite is the "Money Roll"...
Check out the Science,Math, Music, Art and Reading ideas on my learning, activity blog for kids- http://SMMARTideas.blogspot.com

Take care,
Lisa

Cara said...

My guy LOVES sorting coins and putting the coins in a piggy bank. I'm definitely going to let him help me wash the coins next time. Looks like Anna did great with this activity!