Easy Coin Counting Workstation

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

Looking for some suggestions on counting money?  Back in the spring, I wrote about the connection between counting coins and skip counting. The post includes instructions for how to modify Count Around the Circle for coin-counting, and it also includes the cards you can download and use for the routine. Now, on to tonight’s activity.

I made a couple of pages of coin cards, showing both the heads and tails sides. Copy several sheets of each on card stock to make a deck of cards. The cards can be used in a workstation for a coin-counting game of War. To play, each player takes 5 cards and lays them face up (Fig. 1). Players then organize their cards for counting, putting the larger coins first, next largest second, etc. (Fig. 2).  Players count their coins by skip counting, and the player with the greatest value takes all the cards. Players can record their work in their math journals for added practice and accountability (Fig. 3).  Of course, you can easily modify the game by having the students use more or less cards.

Here’s another tip.  Be sure to include a hundred chart in the workstation to help kiddos with the skip counting.  You can grab your free coin cards here.

 Fig. 1
 Fig. 2
 Fig. 3

1. I will put these in workstations today. I know they will skip count, but I hope they use multiplication when counting coins too.

• Oh good! You might have them represent it as multiplication, for example(2 x 25) + (1 x 10) + (2 x 5), to show they understand that it’s multiplication, but in real-life I think they’re probably going to skip-count. Again, multiple representations is always good!