Money Activities for Kindergarten and 1st Grade!

January 26, 2014

Confession: This is the first time in 4 years that I have actually taught an entire money unit to my 1st graders.


My old school was a Common Core only school. Common Core… ONLY! Money isn’t in the 1st grade Common Core, so it was cut from our yearly schedule. We would show coins during our morning calendar routine and sporadically here and there for exposure, but we never taught an entire unit or even a lesson surrounding money. To be honest, we rocked our test scores so we didn’t have any regrets about cutting the unit.

*My first year teaching, I did use my Penny Pockets behavior management program which allowed us to practice money in a fun way*

Alas, it is a whole new year, in a whole new school and things are different! My new team sat down and we discussed cutting back our money unit to 2 weeks and we decided to focus on the mastery of coin recognition and counting same sets of coins (all pennies, all nickels, etc.) up to $1.00. After the first week, it was easy to see who had already mastered these skills and those students were challenged with counting mixed coin sets.

All that being said, I wanted to create a small money unit that didn’t have as much exchanging coins and buying items, but more focused on an introduction to coins! I think this unit would be appropriate for grades K-1!

Here are some pics of the unit in action:
 Race to $1! Fun partner game to challenge your higher students.
There is also a race to $2 and a race to _______ option!

 Match ’em up! For each item there is a same-coin tag and a mixed-coin tag for differentiation.

 One of my littles practicing counting same-coin sets!

 Sort and graph! One of my intervention groups practicing their coin identification.

  A resourceful sweetie checking our reference posters!

 Heads or tails? One of 3 different money games to help students practice counting coins!

Another group doing the sort and graph activity!

The unit contains:
reference posters
4 differentiated activities
3 partner games
practice pages
Click the cover above to check it out 🙂

Other first grade teachers, do you teach a money unit even though it isn’t in the Common Core?!?

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These hands on activities and games are perfect for teaching money to your kindergarten and first grade students!


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  • we teach it even though it isn't in common core, because in 2nd grade students are expected to know about money to be able to use them in story problems in Singapore.

  • I am no longer supposed to teach money as we are common core now. I've decided to use coins in my behavior management system this quarter and am hoping they will pick up some valuable lessons about coins by doing so. Maria

  • I haven't taught it yet (GAH!). It's awful how embarrassed I am to admit that. I LOVE this little packet. Definitely going to need to buy it. I really think I need to do SOMETHING to expose my kids to money.

    Loved the blog post – I think it's definitely something more of us need to be thinking about with Common Core not including it!!

    First Time Firstie

  • We don't "officially" teach money anymore due to the changes in Common Core. However, it's always our end of the year math unit once the testing is finished. I just can't let my kids go to 2nd grade not knowing anything about money! 🙂