Discussion in 'General' started by MNTwinSquared, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    I hope you do not mind the intrusion here. My kids go to public school (first grade) and one of them gets a lot of homework. This child was in a pretty 'lax' kindergarten last year and it shows. This child was pretty average in the kindergarten class in terms of academics. My other child can shout the answers from the other room, not even looking at the homework.

    That said, I have one child in the other room crying. I don't want that, but I am frustrated. First off, I am NOT a teacher and I do not play one on TV. I do not have the patience for it. I am really trying hard to help with homework without giving the answers. The problems this is having is something like this: Jude has 3 nickels and 5 pennies, how much money does Jude have? There were 4 problems. I had to tell this child 8 times how many pennies are in a nickel. I literally had to walk this child through every question at least 3 times.. if not more. Then came another nickel question and that sent us over the edge (hence the crying).

    How do you teach math? How do you deal with the repetition? I literally would say "a nickel has 5 pennies in it" and then I would ask "How many pennies are in a nickel?" and this child had no clue. :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

    I don't get it. Please, if anyone could offer any advice. Conferences are tomorrow. I am not good 1:1. I'm afraid I'm going to be a crying mess tomorrow.
  2. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    One of the things that kids struggle with the most in math is that it builds on itself. To understand one concept, you have to understand the concepts that came before. I understand that in traditional schools you are on a time limit (something we thankfully don't have much of in homeschool - the kids can work on difficult concepts until they really get them before moving on), but I would concentrate more on the basic concepts of how many pennies are in each coin before trying to add those coins. Then, once he (you didn't say if it was a DD or DS, so I'm using a generic "he") has that down pat, it won't be as frustrating to try to add those coins.

    One of the biggest tools that I use is teaching the same thing in several different ways. I use the internet as a resource. I did a search for you and found these various ways of reinforcing the concept of coin values and adding coins:

    Coloring page
    Online Game
    Online game 2
    Online game 3
    A bunch of ideas I found all in one place. I love when that happens!
    Here are a bunch of games someone posted on another forum:
    Hopefully you can find a few ideas to help you. The more fun you make the lesson (by using a game or music or something else), the more they actually learn and, more importantly, want to learn more!
  3. twoin2005

    twoin2005 Well-Known Member

    Jackie, I have to say that money is something that kids either GET or DON'T GET developmentally. Is this always the pattern with math, or has the struggle centered around money?

    I have had students who are great at math, lose all sense of understanding when it comes to money. It is crazy hard for some kids.
  4. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    Money is a tricky concept. A child working with money early on really does best with visuals. So I would write and draw that problem out to look like this:

    On this line, write the words "3 Nickels" (This part is going to be all about counting by 5's.)

    On this line, Draw 3 open circles and write the #5 in them: 5 5 5

    On this line, you can point to each 5 in the line above and together say 5, 10, 15. So now he sees 3 nickels are 15.

    Then draw 5 open circles and write a 1 in each circle that represents pennies. and count by 1's

    So then lastly, 15 plus 5 more is 20.

    If that does not make sense or if he does not get the concept that a nickel is 5 cents. I would definitely use real money. Get a nickel and under the nickel put 5 pennies.

    So visuals are huge and I really would use real coins until they are confident in the value of each coin.

    In first grade, many kids at the beginning are still recognizing the name and values of coins.
  5. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    Here are two games we played in my class:

    Penny Dice Game
    Materials: 20 pennies, 1 die
    Partners put 20 pennies in a pile. This is the bank.
    Players take turns rolling the die and picking up as many pennies as indicated on the die, until all the pennies have been picked up. The player with the most pennies wins. To pick up the last pennies, the number on the die must match the number of pennies remaining.

    Penny Nickel Exchange

    Materials; 20 pennies, 10 nickels, a die
    Partners put 20 pennies and 10 nickels in a pile. This is the bank.
    Players take turns. At each turn, a player rolls a die and collects the number of pennies shown on the die from the bank. Whenever players have at least 5 pennies, they say “Exchange!” and trade 5 of their pennies for a nickel in the bank. The game ends when there are no more nickels in the bank. The player with the most money wins.

    eta- I just saw the above games were posted by Stacy also!
  6. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    Jackie, about tomorrow, don't worry. This is a great time to talk to the teacher and get ideas on how to help at home. Your feelings are very common for parents of young children just beginning school/homework. It is all very new and trying to get young children to understand new/difficult concepts is hard even for a teacher and more so if you are not familiar with different techniques that work with different kids. PM me if you have any questions.
  7. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I have to agree that money and measurement are tough in either kids get them or they don't (you can count reading a clock in that). Like the others said, the best way to teach money is to give handful of change and practice. You can even do a "reward" type thing where they get pennies for doing things, then exchange for nickels, then nickels and pennies for dimes. Also, point out that is says on the nickel that it is worth 5 cents. That actually helps some kids more then you would think.
  8. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much everyone!!!!!!!
  9. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    Ok, we played the game 'exchange' today. It was slow but said child did start to 'get it.' Whether or not it stays in the memory... is another thing, but it was a start. Thank you so much. This was MOST helpful!
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