Tuesday, June 16, 2009

money money money

Here are two activities that we used to help teach about money. Our money stamps are kept on a tray that shows their matching coins, their values and names. I make up little books with an amount written on each page. The children love stamping the appropriate coins on the page.
The next picture shows the money game. From midyear until the last day of school, it proved to be fun and challenging. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters are separated into compartments in a tray. In the center is one dollar coin with a small booklet showing various coin equivalents. To make the booklet, I used the money stamps to show that two nickels equal one dime, two dimes and one nickel equal one quarter, etc. A child throws one dice then takes that number of cents. For example, if the dice shows a five, the child may take one nickel or five pennies. As coins are accumulated they should be exchanged for coins of higher value. The goal is to have four quarters, which are then exchanged for the dollar coin. The first to get the dollar coin is the winner. Since this is mostly a game of luck, all of the players have a fair chance of winning. In our classroom, children of all levels enjoyed this game. They get great practice with counting, addition, counting by fives and tens and recognizing the coins and their values.
And probably the most important lesson learned in this type of game is sportsmanship. Initially, a few children would get distressed upon losing the game. A teacher or a sympathetic classmate would sit with the players to help them keep track of their turns, use the little book of coin equivalences and remind them to exchange smaller coins toward the goal of quarters. Because of the luck factor with the dice, cooperation between players and peers is fair. In our class, the children seemed to realize this themselves, as there were many happy games with helpers nearby.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Only one more week of school. I don't like to think about it. I'm going to miss every one of the children in our class. Thinking back to the first weeks of school last September, it's hard to imagine that these are the same children. We've seen them mature into responsible students, develop their skills in reading and math beyond expectations and we've enjoyed the blossoming of their very varied personalities. I can't think of a better or more interesting group of people with which to spend my time.
These last weeks have been a surge of activity. Bead chains are being recounted, spelling quizzes are requested, the garden is still being planted and dug and finger paintings are produced. All this to the tune of Raffi's Like Me and You, often heard sung in the background. And the whole school seems to have picked up Y A Un Rat, the little French song that the class sings.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fair Day

Thanks to PoDS ! The children had a wonderful Fun Fair Day last week. Here are some pictures of them enjoying the bean bag toss with Holly Jolly, the balloons she created for them and thanks for the popcorn, the pizza, the ice cream, the beautiful portraits drawn of each child, the face painting and the prizes for everyone. And a big thank you from all of the teachers for their "prize" and the delicious lunch this week. We are all looking forward to the show and picnic coming up next week.