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Called “Book Shopping,” this idea helps students learn to make Change from a Dollar


Language Arts, Math  


1, 2, 3  

Title – Book Shopping
By – Sandy Walker
Subject – Math, Language Arts
Grade Level – First – Third
Making change from a dollar is a particularly difficult skill for first graders at my school. To reinforce first graders’ ability to do this and also reinforce state standards in math, I arranged with the other teachers on my grade level to have a Book Exchange just before Christmas vacation. Letters were sent home to parents asking each family to send a book that their child was through reading to school to be sold to another student using play money. Only students who brought a book could go shopping for another one. Teachers got together and decided the prices of books so that students had to do some calculation to be able to purchase; i.e. 33cents, 79 cents etc. On the day of the book sale, each participating student was given one dollar in play money coins to spend. Those students not participating were given a lesson on spending money by two of the teachers, while the other four of us set up stations to allow students to buy a “new” book. Students were allowed to browse for fifteen minutes. When a choice was made, the student came to one of the teacher stations and counted out the money for the purchase, then told the teacher how much they had left from their dollar. Students sat down to read until everyone had finished their shopping while teachers took pictures of the event. The best part of the experience was that each child had a different book to keep and something new to do during the holidays. The experience was so enjoyable that we plan to do this again next year. The entire lesson for six classes lasted just under one hour, but the joy lasted for days.

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