About once every month I try to review money with Anna and see if she made a conceptual leap from counting the quantity of coins to counting their value. This time we tried The Coin Counting Book from the library. It was recommended by One Little Room. Alas, Anna didn’t like the book at all – she declared it boring. I realized pretty quickly that the leap didn’t happen yet – she still counts nickels and pennies as a value of 1. I am thinking that with DreamBox work of counting by 10 that she has been doing lately dimes and pennies will click fairly soon, but we will wait and see. We played store for some time after attempting to count money, and this time I was the buyer and she was the seller. She carefully priced all her wares in 1-5 cents range – something that she can grasp and count very easily. After she sold all of them to me, I had her count what she “earned” – 22 cents and asked her if she earned enough to get a book from our library book sale shelf that costs a quarter. She correctly said that it’s not enough and I let her deposit the pennies into her piggy bank “for later”.
She enjoyed The Penny Pot from MathStart series a lot more than The Coin Counting Book, since it contained a lot more of the story. We had mixed success with MathStart, but this is one of the best books we read, because math supports the story and not so much “in your face”. It also teaches an important life lesson of being careful with your money and sharing some of it with others.
A Chair For My Mother is not a math book at all, but I thought that it deserves an honorary mention in this post, since it deals with saving money for buying a very special thing, and it’s a very moving book in general. It also explains a little bit a concept of converting coins into dollar bills – we haven’t practiced it yet, but Anna was very interested in that part of the book.
For more math activities for young kids, visit Math Links hosted by A Joyful Learner.