5 Ways to Practice Counting Money in 2nd Grade

Here are 5 easy ways to for students to practice counting money in 2nd grade.

Spring time brings flowers, rain showers and counting money in 2nd grade. My students can’t contain themselves when they see the glistening silver and copper coins. There is just something about handling those fake plastic coins that stirs the excitement to learn how to count money in 2nd grade.

Tooth Fairy Coin Match: Get those students excited to count money!

Counting money in 2nd grade is magical fun with Tooth Fairy Coin Match. Get it HERE!

In 2nd grade, counting money, from the TOOTH FAIRY brings huge toothless grins! Students begin by counting the coins on the top tooth fairy card. After that, they find the tooth card with the matching money amount. There is also a recording sheet they may complete as they count the money and make their matches. 

Use the Tooth Fairy Coin Match as a scoot! The whole class can practice counting money at the same time. Place the tooth fairy cards around the room. Students walk around and record the amounts on the recording sheet. 

If you want to make the scoot really magical…dress up as the tooth fairy! All you need is a tutu, tooth fairy wand and some wings!

NEW! Here is a digital Google Slides version! Count the change total and then drag and drop the answer onto the tooth!

Skip Counting: Improves money counting fluency

This can be done as a whole class or small group activity. This activity can also be easily differentiated. Students who still struggle to count by ones can start with counting pennies and the students who are farther along in the progression can count by all three units at the same time.

Pick a number for students to start counting from. Then have students count up by 1s, 5s and 10s with pennies, nickels and dimes. Choose one unit at a time for students to start to practice counting the money by. As students become more fluent with counting money by a single unit, start having them alternate between dimes, nickels and pennies.

This practice also covers the common core standard 2.NBT.2. Which is skip counting by 5s and 10s! I love when I can make an activity multi-task! 

How Many Ways: Students get creative counting money

Students practice counting money with the game How Many Ways? This game also helps students grow their number sense! Get your copy HERE!

This activity gets students thinking about counting money but also thinking out of the box. This is an excellent number sense activity as well. 

  • Students pick a coin card and put it on the mat.
  • They then show all the ways to make that amount of change ( There are four boxes for each but if they come up with more have them go to the next line. )
  • When they have exhausted all the ways, they continue to the next card.

Tips and Tricks:

•Place the How Many Ways? recording sheet into a dry erase sleeve to use over and over again.  •Have a class competition to see who can come up with the most ways for a single amount.

Bookmarks: For easy reference when students count money

Student’s use this coin identification bookmark to become more fluent with counting money.

Bookmarks! What student wouldn’t love to learn to count money in 2nd grade with a colorful money bookmark reference?! My students can’t get enough of these coin bookmarks. They can also have these handy to reference when they are playing games in math workshop or working on a review activity.

Anchor Charts: Get students counting money early in the year

Click HERE to get a FREE set of Coin ID Anchor Charts!

We don’t officially teach money until the spring in the curriculum at my building. Having these anchor charts up year round gives students easy access to the information if we are doing a spiral review but we haven’t fully covered the content. I love how big and clear the imprints of the coin faces are making it easy for students to see across the room. One teacher I know copied hers onto grey and brown colored paper so students could see the actual color of the coin…I just happen to be a sucker for those brights!

Get all of these easy prep center ideas in one place HERE!

Bonus Idea! Does your school host fundraisers or sell snacks before or after school? We have fundraisers like Popcorn Fridays. When students bring in their dollar it’s usually in the change their parents dug out of the cup holder in the car (if they’re anything like me). I always get asked “Is this a dollar?” (cue 3 pennies being pushed in my face). Have them practicing counting to 100 cents. This is also a great reminder that 100 cents equals one dollar. Easy, weekly practice done! 

hey bonita


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