Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Math: Using Coin Manipulatives

St. Patrick's Day has built in math manipulatives, the gold coins in the pot at the end of the rainbow lend themselves to hands-on activities. Now is a great time to stock up, as gold coins like the ones above are already marked down. Buy several sets for a center and you'll be able to use them in your classroom for years.
In many kindergarten classes, students are working on simple addition. Place a set of number flash cards and the coins in your center and have students take turns building simple addition or subtraction problems. Extend the activity by having students record the problems they make on a sheet of paper.

You can also provide large foam dice instead of the number cards. Students will roll one at a time to get a number to add to their problem. You can differentiate for struggling learners by having those students roll the dice and count out the same number of coins.

My school had a die cut machine in the work room, another suggestion is to die cut out shamrocks and have the students use them along with the coins to make simple patterns, like ABAB. You can also use picture cards for the shamrocks, like I did in this previously shared activity.

Classroom Store:
Shopping is another great way to use the coins. Provide several items students can pretend to buy and lable each a price. Have each student pick a number card, this is a good time to use larger teen and twenties. Each child counts out the corresponding number of coins. They can then use the coins make purchases.

Get them to practice their handwriting by having each student completes their own "receipt" by writing down each item they want to purchase, the amount for each, and then write the total. This center benefits from having a parent volunteer supervise.

If you are interested in preschool curriculum, check out my other blog ABC & 123 today. We're giving away a complete letter of the week alphabet program.

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