Monday, May 26, 2008

How Much is this Metal Worth?

It's been awhile since our last Unplugged Project and now that's summer is here, I have no excuses! :) This week's project is Metal.

It took me some time to decide what I wanted to do... especially since Jeff was out of town for most of the week and "metal" would normally fall in the "dad category". LOL! I thought about making a wind chime out of washers, nuts, and bolts. I considered doing something with aluminum cans. I even tried to think up something using utensils. However, while reading a book on teaching kids about money, I ran across the idea of separating coins. Not only is it a way to learn that they look different, but also an opportunity to talk about their names and teach how much they are worth. The author talked about using glass jars, but I decided to use more metal:

I gave Will and Nathan a pile of coins each.

We went over the names first and I asked the boys to separate the coins.

Will already knew the names and easily separated them. Nathan said "penny" over and over again. I showed him a coin, told him the name and asked him to find another one from his pile. He did this for each of the coins. One time. Then he started slinging coins across the room. His time with this project was over. (little booger!)

Will and I took the coins to his room. We sat down on the floor and used his train board for a flat surface. We went over the coin names again and how much each was worth. I tried to give him a visual by putting 5 pennies next to a nickel, 10 next to a dime, and 25 next to the quarter. I let him count out the pennies each time.

After 25 pennies, though, he lost interest. I'm thinking he was just more interested in playing trains since we were in his room together. ;)

This is something I will do again throughout the summer. This concept takes some getting used to. I remember learning in 1st grade how to count by 25's and that there are 4 quarters in a dollar. From what he displayed today, I'm pretty impressed with Will. He's heads and tails above the rest! :)

Head over to Unplug Your Kids for more Unplugged Projects!

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reprehriestless warillever said...

This is a great idea. Thanks!

morningstar said...

Very cool! What a great hands on way to teach a life skill.

Mom Unplugged said...

That's a really good idea. Money is a difficult concept. My 7 year-old still doesn't really "get it" despite having done it over and over at school. We'll have to try this. I am so glad that you are back with us!! We missed you!

4funboys said...

OK... this first grade teacher... in the middle of testing her own class for the same concept-- is wishing she had a few more parents like you (even 1 would be nice)!

I give you an A+ !!!!

Jenna said...

I took a quick peek at the unplugged blog. I'm going to have to spend a little more time browing over there. I'm glad you mentioned it!!

juliekintaiwan said...

I like how you used the pans. Thanks for sharing.

Linds said...

Thanks for this idea! Way to be creative with the 'metal' theme. I wouldn't have thought of that!

Kari Wright said...

I do believe this will be our unplugged project..tomorrow! thanks for a great idea...I was just not in the mood for aluminum can sculptures!