Grade Levels: K-3

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about equivalent coins. It is designed to complement the Equivalent Coins topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

Before beginning this topic, we highly recommend screening the Dollars and Cents movie and the Counting Coins movie for review. This movie will build on the concepts and provide opportunities for students to apply what they learned. Children will learn how to “trade in” coins and explore different ways to make a dollar.

Have children brainstorm different ways to make 25¢. You may want to give small groups a collection of coins so they can count, add, and explore. Explain that twenty-five pennies are equal to 25¢, and then demonstrate how you can trade in five pennies for one nickel. This means that one nickel and twenty pennies are equal to 25¢. You can continue trading five pennies for one nickel to show that two nickels and fifteen pennies are equal to 25¢, and so on until you show that five nickels are equal to 25¢. Then trade in two nickels for one dime to show that one dime and three nickels are equal to 25¢. Continue to trade in two nickels for another dime to show that two dimes and one nickel are equal to 25¢. Then trade in the dimes and the nickel for a quarter to show how one quarter is equal to 25¢. Challenge children to show different ways to show 30¢ or 50¢ by trading in coins.

Review with children that a dollar is worth one hundred pennies, or twenty nickels, or ten dimes, or four quarters. You may want to practice skip-counting coins up to a dollar. We highly recommend practicing skip-counting quarters together and writing down the numbers: 25¢, 50¢, 75¢, $1.00. Then have children present a group of coins that add up to a dollar and then trade in the coins for equivalent amounts to form a dollar in different ways. They may want to draw pictures or take notes to show what coins they used.

We recommend providing children with plenty of practice to work with coins and develop counting strategies and shortcuts on their own. They may wish to count coins out loud or combine them in different ways to trade in coins. Challenge them to find as many ways as they can to make 75¢!