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Monday, May 9, 2011

Counting Money and Rounding Change to the Dollar

We have been practicing with money lately. It has become an interest in our house. I have allowed some household "jobs" to become paid jobs. For example, folding and taking care of your own laundry you do at no cost. Also, a certain amount of towel laundry, dishwasher unloading, etc. is not paid either. However, in order to teach giving, saving, and spending, I had to allow a certain portion of work to become "commission" jobs. 

I don't pay a lot per job as I want to instill the discipline of waiting and saving for something they want. Rather than being able to spend ten dollars on an item each week, I want it to take them at least a month to save up that amount. Because of this, they are interested in organizing and checking on their money at least once a day. 

I used this opportunity to review rounding money to the nearest dollar with my oldest child and introduce it to my youngest. While we were out "window-shopping" for items that can become savings goals, we talked about how useful rounding and estimation is when purchasing items. We began talking about how $0.99 is pretty much the same as $1.00 and $2.99 is practically $3.00. 

To assist my youngest to practice this skill with a hands-on activity, I created a "Rounding Number Line" where she would be able to practice counting change and then deciding if it is closer to 0¢ or $1.00.

We place the number line on the table and then gather our pile of nickels and dimes. She places the "Round to 0¢" and "Round to $1.00" heading cards to the right side of the number line. She then choses a "cent" card which displays different amounts ranging from 5¢ to 95¢. She decides which column they should be placed. She can check her work with control cards.You can download these free Montessori materials here.

The good thing about this work, is that you can also use it as a simple practice in counting out money. Save the rounding label cards and just have your child either count out the amount shown on the number line from left to right or choose a "cent" card and place that amount above the label on the number line.

This lesson is linked to ONE HOOK WONDER and MATH BOX from love2learn2day


  1. Thanks for posting on Math Box Monday. This is a great activity to practice rounding. We've been doing something similar with a numberline, but it's really nice to add the manipulative piece of money in as well. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Nice activity! I will have to remember this one as we're just beginning to start money lessons with Short Pants. Thanks for linking to Montessori Monday. :)