How to Teach Counting Money

How to teach money


Teach Money Daily

I begin teaching money on the first day of school and then I teach it daily. I put up a penny on a coin chart and I introduce the penny and tell my students that it is worth one cent. Then my students take turns putting a penny on the chart and we count them each day. For example, Day 2 would be 2 cents and Day 3 would be 3 cents. They do this until Day 5, and then we change the 5 pennies to a nickel. I introduce the nickel and how it is worth 5 cents, which is the same amount as 5 pennies. My students change 2 nickels to a dime on Day 10 and I explain that a dime is worth 10 cents and is the same amount as 2 nickels or 10 pennies or a nickel and 5 pennies. I continue doing this every day, and when it is Day 100, my students get so excited to put up the dollar bill. I have found this daily routine to be very helpful in giving my students a better understanding of money.

Singing about Money

I like to teach using songs as much as I can. One of the class’s favorite songs about counting money is the Dollar Holler Rap.

Teaching Money in Small Groups

I have found that teaching money in small groups is very successful because I can focus my attention on all the children in my group while the other students are working in math centers. I like to start by giving each student a whiteboard, dry erase marker, coin chart that is included in our money unit and a bag of coins. You can also just use a hundreds chart.

coin chart


A good time saver is to place all these items for each student in individual gallon size ziplock bags. That way, you can give them everything they need and get started quickly.

How I Begin

I begin by telling my students to place coins on their boards and write a line under each coin. I walk them through how to count and write the amount as they go.  This step by step process creates a great visual understanding for them. You can see the picture of this at the top of the post.

Coin Chart

Another strategy I use for counting money is the coin chart. I show my students how to place their coins on the chart as they count money. The picture below shows how my student placed his dimes on 10,20 and he is holding a nickel and getting ready to count 5 more and place it on the 25. I like to use this chart because it helps my students to see the patterns when we are counting by fives or tens. This chart actually comes in color so it makes a great poster for the classroom.  I just make my copies in black and white for the children.

coin chart

Coin Books

I use our coin books that are included in the money unit in a math center with coins. My students match the coins to the correct pictures. This is a great math center because it is easy to set up, and they love matching the coins to the pictures.

coin books

More Money Centers and Games

We have fun money games and centers included with our class mascot, Quality Quentin. The kids love seeing this penguin on the sheets. I always tell them that we are doing quality math with Quality Quentin. These games and centers are great for practicing money while I meet with small guided math groups.

“Lots of practice activities that make learning about money meaningful!”

“Fabulous bundle and wonderful value! Love the variety of activities and the song!” are just a few comments made by happy customers! Read more here.

money activities

If you would like another fun and engaging money game, read about our popular money scoot here.

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