Monday, March 10, 2014

It's All About the Money!

This year we started a new program. When the students go above and beyond or finish an extra project they get tickets. I've given out tickets before but we always turned them in for treasure box items and after a while I just got so tired of buying and sorting out what really were junky toys that sometimes just stayed in their book bags! This year, we changed it up. Instead of buying toys, they bought coupons for things like chewing gum, wearing a hat, bringing in a stuffed animal to sit on your desk, using a pen or better yet, smelly markers! It was an amazing hit!!! The kids were unbelievably motivated and the tickets were the talk of the class! I can't take credit for the program--I was blog hopping and I found MelD's amazing blog. Tons--TONS--of great ideas.

Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations

Pretty soon I noticed that just giving out one ticket at a time wasn't enough and I started giving out tickets that were worth five and ten, too.

So, what does all this have to do with money? This week we started counting money. I usually dread this unit. It seems like no matter how many times we count by fives and tens this just really trips them up, especially when we count mixed coins...ugh!

Today we counted with dimes, nickels and pennies. EVERY CHILD sat down, counted the money and was RIGHT!! No problems at all! What made the difference? It was the tickets!!

Every Friday before we go to the coupon store, everyone counts their tickets. They were counting mixed tickets, 10s, 5s and 1s. Sound familiar? I really think that what made it work was that it was meaningful to them. They weren't just counting coins on a paper to see if there are enough for a picture of a toy. They were saving and counting their tickets for things they really wanted. Right now extra recess is a hot coupon!

It didn't happen overnight and up until about a month ago I was still helping a few of my students with counting their tickets but they all got it eventually because they NEEDED to know how many tickets they had! Before long I was hearing "30, 40, 45, 50, 51, 51...I have 52 tickets!"

We have savers and spenders. It was so funny in the beginning of the year to hear "I have 26 tickets but nothing costs 26 tickets!" It was a good lesson in greater than and less than--as long as it costs less than 26 tickets you're good to go!

If you count them out you'll see they're in groups of 100!

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