Grade Levels: K-3

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about dollars and cents. It is designed to complement the Dollars and Cents topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

Money is a topic that many early elementary classes visit each year, so what your children may already know and understand will vary. Familiarize your children with pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar bills. Although coins such as the half-dollar, the Susan B. Anthony dollar, and the Sacagawea golden dollar are rare, it is still important for your children to recognize them and know their monetary values.

The word “percent” means “per one hundred.” With money, one cent represents one per one hundred cents, or one dollar. Five cents represent five percent of one dollar, ten cents represent ten percent of one dollar, and so on. When using numerals, people use the symbol ¢ to represent cents up to a dollar, as in 4¢ or 48¢. When the value reaches a dollar or more, people use the symbol $, as in $1.01 or $324.00.

The “Dollars and Cents” movie introduces children to different coins and their values. This movie also teaches how to count groups of the same coin. Counting money is explored at length in the “Counting Money” movie and working with money and decimal places is addressed in the “Decimals” movie.

Remind your children that a penny is worth one cent, or 1¢. A nickel is worth five cents, or 5¢. You can count nickels by counting by fives. A dime is worth ten cents, or 10¢. You can count dimes by counting by tens. A quarter is worth twenty-five cents, or 25¢. It is important for your children to know how to read money amounts both as words and as numbers and symbols. Practicing skip counting will help your children count money faster and more efficiently.

Money is a means of exchanging goods and services and it is important for your children to understand how to be responsible with money and how to save money. By teaching good habits now, your children will become more responsible and conscientious with their finances in the future. We recommend watching the Counting Coins movie together for further review.