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    Counting Money at Home Pays Off!
    Posted on 02/22/2018

    Counting money is an important life skill that supports other math skills and number sense. Here at Olympic Hills we encourage every family to help teach their child to count coins and bills. Below the necessary skills are broken down by grade level. Keeping some loose coins in a jar really pays off!

    KINDERGARTEN: By spring most kindergartners are ready to fluently count DIMES & PENNIES. Parent shows how to move coins from one pile to another. Start with dimes and count aloud. Switch to pennies and count by ones aloud. Give your child a chance to practice with several different amounts (under $1) like: 24 cents, 36 cents, 42 cents, etc.

    FIRST & SECOND: If your child is skilled at counting dimes and pennies, it is time to try nickels. First practice counting by fives, from different ten numbers like 20 or 30. Count aloud as you demonstrate this.

    THIRD: 3rd graders who are fluent with nickels, dimes & pennies are ready for QUARTERS. Warm up with the progression 25, 50, 75, $1. This can be taken to $2 or $3 if the child is ready. Once the coins counting patterns are established, offer random amounts within $5 for your child to count. Teach counting off the quarters first, then the dimes, the nickels, and then the pennies. Introduce small bills when your child masters all coins.

    FOURTH graders are ready for almost any amount within $100 and beyond. They should be able to handle currency (bills) like fives and tens along with the ones. Include all the coins. They are counting amounts like: $23.67 $78.02. Fourth graders should also practice reading dollar and cent amounts. Pick up a calculator to practice adding and subtracting. Addition & subtraction should also be done on paper. Kids practice keeping their decimals points aligned and print neatly to avoid confusion. Accuracy is king!

    FIFTH graders are doing largely what we covered in fourth, but with larger amounts. Work with hundreds and even thousand dollar amounts. Fill each place with different numbers. Read amounts where zero might hold places, like: $204.06.

    Work on fluency and accuracy. Teach your fifth grader more about managing money and keeping accurate records. Even with Smart Phones doing much of that these days, there’s a lot to be said about knowing old fashion record keeping. The brain is challenged and must stay organized.

    All these skills will help your child do better on standardized tests and other tasks they will face in upper school grades.