Counting Coins Activities

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has taught high school history in several states with a master's degree in teaching.

Coins are a useful real-world tool that can easily be incorporated into your elementary school classroom in a variety of ways. These activities are designed for students in grades 3-5 and have opportunities for individual and group work.

Coins in the Classroom

Coins are one of the most versatile tools you can have in your elementary school classroom. In addition to their monetary value, they can also be used in conversations about size, probability and sequencing. These activities can be included in math and writing curricula in your classroom. There are opportunities for students to work on their own and for them to work with peers. Before beginning these activities, you will need to gather a large selection of coins. Aim to have at least 20 coins for each student in your class.

Timeline with Coins

In this activity, students will be creating a timeline with the coins they have. Begin by giving all students 15-20 coins. The coins can be from any country (as long as there is a year on the coin), any value and any condition. Next, instruct students to put them in order from oldest to most recently produced. As students are working, move around the classroom to keep them on track. After students have finished creating their timeline, have them partner up and check one another's work. After this, you can have a conversation about the oldest coins found, various conditions of coins and changes in the design of coins over time.

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