Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Starting with Money

Missy's newest endeavor is to master the art of money.  She's ten now, and needs to have this skill for adulthood!  Today we sat down and learned the names of the coins.  Missy's special learning style requires many, many multiple repetitions of facts before they are mastered, so we began with simple sorting.  I had her pour out all of her coins. I showed her each, a penny, a nickel, a dime and a quarter, one at a time. I named each president, not that I expect her to remember their names in this lesson, and we talked about the color, size and weight of each coin.  We noted which ones had smooth edges and which have a reeded edge.

I had her find a penny and declare, "I found a penny!" until she had separated each out into a pile.  Then we repeated it with nickels, dimes and quarters.  It took some time, but she was having fun and learning the name of each coin. After that, I held up random coins and had her say "That is a ______ and it's worth ____cents.".  After doing that for a while, I had her pul random coins from the pile, say their names and values and then drop them into the red cup we had nearby.  Our final activity was the funnest.  She closed her eyes, held out her hand and I dropped a coin or two into it.  She had to feel the coin and decide what coin it was and tell me before opening her eyes.  If she got it right, she got to add it to the cup.

She still wanted to play with the coins more, but it was time to wrap up the lesson. I try never to wear her out during a lesson, but stop when she's still enjoying herself. I let her go and let Jack and Troubles join in.  Since they know the coin names and values already, I just played a short game with them.  I had them close their eyes, hold out their hands and I dropped three or four coins in.  They felt the coins, added the values and declared their guess before opening their eyes and self-correcting.  They also attempted to add the value of ALL the coins.  Neither was able to do that, though.

I hope that if you have a child who has special needs, you are focusing on real-life skills rather than frustrating your child and yourself on math that they will not be using in their lives.  Missy works on counting, two and three digit addition and subtraction, reading a clock and money and until these are mastered, she doesn't need anything else!

Here are some helpful site for printables and games:
Simple Worksheets and Games
Lots of coin activities!
Interactive games