Thursday, August 6, 2009

Money Math

Now that the boys have a good handle on clocks and we seem to be able to get by with simple review work in their math journals I decided to move onto money. I want both of them to recognize coins (American & Australia), be able to count them, and rounding will eventually come into play. In Australia we don't have 1 cent coins, our lowest is a .05, thus rounding is a part of life when paying for things. So this week I packed some felt food (newly made I might add) into their math box. This was something we were suppose to do a while ago, but apparently felt trucks were held up getting into Tasmania.. yeah I'm not buying it either, but I'm willing to roll with the punches.

They each found the components to make a sandwich. The origonal idea (and we'll be doing this in the future) is to give them a set amount of money and give them requirements for shopping at our Felt Food Store. As in, you must get a veggie, a fruit, dairy, etc. Nothing like throwing a little health into the math class, right?

I also made chocolate chip cookies and a bag of chips each. Then I made shopping ads on the computer. More like a menu. I put a picture of each item with an empty box so the boys could price the items in their store as they wished. The only rule was they couldn't exceed the $2 limit as we're still working with Aussie coins and not paper money. This worked well, except Jayden was dead set on making his cookies cost googolplex. Mm, yeah they know that number.

This is Jayden's store all set up. His price lists are on the floor, and the bucket of money next to him is his cash register (our real one is still displaced in America). They took turns shopping at each other's store. I gave each of them a handful of money that consisted of: a $1 coin, $2 coin, 4 .20 pieces, 2 .10 pieces, & 2 .05 pieces. Working change was a bit tough for the little one, but I had him count with me so he'd get the hang of it. This worked well because when he "visited" Morgan's store he was able to consistently count out his coins with little help.

We also kept a running receipt. This was more so they could practice seeing money written in more then one way (decimals and signs) as well as for adding purposes. For Jayden (6) I simply told him the figures I needed answers to. Morgan was able to work it out on his own as he's all ready understanding double addition. Decimals are new to him, but that didn't effect his adding skills.

Daddy got in on the fun (and is proudly showing off his tidy number skills there). Daddy is also now intent on making a program for them to use while playing store. One that will permit them to click on an item and it will "add it" to the basket and print them out a "real" docket. In the mean time the boys will keep making their own personal printer sounds!

Math Notes: You don't need felt food to play this game. You can use real food, you can use pictures of food, you can use plastic food, options are endless. For my 8 year old he will be given slightly more challenging games as we progress with money skills. For instance I may give him x amount of money and say "Today we're making Spaghetti and we need..." and see if he can obtain all the items with what he has. My kids are a bit nutty and like to read the store ads to me telling me all about what's on sale (not that we buy much of it) so another idea will be for me to give him a menu or a dollar amount. Instruct him to "purchase" from the ad x amount of things that fit in certain places on the food pyramid. I'm also thinking that I may have him figure out how good a sale price is by comparing it with the normal price.

Felt Food Notes: The patterns for felt food were found in various places. Sandwich supplies can be found here (I think she now charges $1.75 unless you want to add her button to your blog.) Chocolate Chip cookie idea is from here. (I branched out on my own sewing the felt together and not stuffing it and cutting out random circles/chunks and tacking them on the top.) I took the bag from the first link and simply put doritos in it vs chips. Mostly cause all I had was orange felt. I printed out a triangle from the computer and used it as my pattern. Simple as ... Ravioli and sauce were made on my own (pretty simple, if you need more instructions feel free to ask) Fried egg & oranges were found here. I did the apples on my own.
I've got instructions for a pie and a few other little goodies we'll be making up soon too..


Marie said...


Love your felt food! Very cute!

Jeanne said...

That felt money is just so cute!!

Kylie said...

Just gorgeous. Oh how I wish I had the time to create like that. I'll have to dig out the kids plastic food and use that instead. My daughter is so into shops at the moment it will be an easy topic to cover.

Kendra said...

Kylie, it's actually REALLY quick to make. ;) Everything but the bread was done in I dunno.. 30 minutes or less really. The bread was a tad more time intense because I changed it from the original pattern (it was suppose to be "stuffed" and I didn't like how PUFFY it was..) I've made some of the other stuff during our breaks. I have a few more things I'd like to make to go with it! hehe

School for Us said...

Great looking food and a great way to learn about money! (By the way, I found your blog through the math teachers at play carnival.)

Jimmie said...

The felt crafts are adorable! Well done. I know the children loved playing math with them. :-)
Felt was hard to find? Yeah, we have to bring it in from outside the country. Today I walked for about 30 minutes looking for duct tape. None. No where. I finally found a guy who seemed to know what I was describing. (I don't know how to say duct tape in Chinese.) I asked him how to say it. He said, "gray tape." Brilliant. Thanks. That's what I've BEEN saying. Right.

(I'm visiting from the math carnival.)

MyEbella said...

found your blog from
and love it... but have to ask, do you have an etsy store... I would love some of that play food! too cute!

Kendra said...

Jimmie, felt isn't hard to find here, it's just a matter of the shipments coming in on time. They can be annoyingly late at times.. We're still waiting on dolly kits to come in on the "next" boat. Ha! lol

Myebella, I don't have an etsy store, but I've seriously considered it in the past. ;) Perhaps I'll hold a give away for a "sack" full of felt food next. That might be mega fun!

Beckie R said...

I've just found you and your ideas are inspiring. I'm just beginning to school my 4yo and this blog is wonderfully full of ideas!

Kendra said...

Thanks Beckie :)