Thrifty Thursday

Are you sure?

This is a typical word problem

We have to back track and ask what experiences the students have missed out on. Well, back in the halcyon days, children had real money to handle, not credit cards. Often loose change was thrown into a container and used as savings! When there was enough in the container it was taken to the bank and cashed in. It was fun to sort the coins, count the coins, even play shop with the coins. A lot of money savvy came from the home and from having pocket money to earn, save and spend. Many homes no longer work in this way; now we are an almost cashless society.

So, this blog is about money. The following list includes some of the things students have said to us:

“There are 50 cents in a dollar.”

“The $2 coin has the least value (its small).”

“I could use a 30 cent coin to give you 30 cents change”

“You can’t share $2 between 4 children. But you could give a dollar each to two children and the others get nothing.”

“Why should we learn about money, all you have to do is tap your card … and you can do it as often as you like, no worries.” (I want to go and live with that family).

The point of this Are you sure is to get hands on with money. No coins, no worries, cut up a cereal box, trace and make your own, lots of them. This should keep the possums quiet for a minute or two.

Seriously though, we now need to ensure that students know:

  • that there are 100 cents in a dollar, even though we no longer have 1 cent coins to work with,
  • about equivalence, two 50 cent coins are worth $1 (how can two big coins be worth the same as a smaller coin?)
  • what denominations coins come in
  • how many of each denomination are needed to make a dollar
  • smart strategies for counting a collection of coins (we know that if you put ten 10 cent coins in a pile, we can use the height of that pile to create another dollar, no need to count at all),
  • that if we want to share an amount of dollars we can split the dollars into smaller denominations to make it easy to share
  • what coins can be used to give change, not just what change is needed

That is enough to get started with but please play shop with real money and have fun solving and creating challenges, for example:

  • Using 4 different coins, what amounts can you make?
  • What different ways could you pay for a $2 ice cream using 6 coins?

Crank it up if you need to but have fun getting thrifty with money.

What with all that is happening, I can feel a very thrfty time cominbg on!