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A Math lesson on place value
Mary Ann Polowy
Topic: Place value, number sense
Grade Level: 1 or 2
Name of Activity: Race for $1.00
Materials Needed: 60 pennies per group, 40 dimes per group, 1 play dollar per group, 1 zip – top haggle per group, 2 dice per group.
Description of Activity: Divide the students into groups of 4 or 5. Give each group a haggle filled with 60 pennies, 40 dimes, 2 play dollars and 2 dice. Show the class a baggie and describe its contents. Post the number of pennies, dimes, and dollars and encourage the children to check its contents when they’re finished.
Introduce the game by telling the children that they’re going to get to play a game called Race for $1.00. The goal of the game is to get $1.00. Explain that they take turns rolling the dice. The sum of the numbers rolled on the dice determines the number of pennies they may take. When they have enough, they may exchange pennies for dimes and dimes for $1.00. Players may only exchange when they have the dice. Emphasize that watch each other to make sure they agree with their teammates’ moves.
During the activity, walk around and ask, “How much money would you have now if everyone in your group put their money together? How much more money would your group need to get to $1.00?” Listen to their problem solving strategies.
Extension 1: To make this activity more difficult, children could start with $1.00 and subtract the numbers on the dice exchanging dimes for pennies until they reached 0.
Extension 2: To make this activity more challenging, fifty cent pieces and nickels could also be introduced.
Sources: Math By All Means, by Marilyn Burns, Math Solutions Publications, 1994.
About Teaching Mathematics, by Marilyn Burns, Math Solutions Publications, 1992.