Pennies Add Up

July 23, 2010 at 9:03 AM Leave a comment

by: Jennifer Perez

This is an activity I present to my students each year and they LOVE it!  With each new set of students that reach my classroom each year, I see a trend.  My students have zero to no concept of money because our society has moved toward using debit cards and credit cards instead of using cash.  Gone are the days when you can give your child $5 to go shopping and hope they not only make a wise purchase, but also have some change to spare!

Lesson Objective:

Not only will this activity help your child become more aware of ‘physical’ money, but it will also help them keep track of their money using a check register and raise their money awareness.

What you need:

  • Assorted Bills~ $1, $5, $10, $20
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Blank check registry

Let’s begin:

1. Begin the lesson by giving your child/student a blank check registry and imaginary beginning balance.

2. After you have given them their monthly balance make them aware they now have to begin paying monthly bills.  (Create bills that will add up to approximately 50% of their total balance)

3. Using the check registry, model for your child/student how to subtract the monthly bills from their beginning balance.  (Encourage using a pencil in case mistakes are made in the registry!)

4. After the mandatory bills are paid ask, “What else would you like to buy?”  Work with them to realize, after looking at their end balance, that some of the “stuff” they might want -they may not be able to afford.

5.Try to get your child/student to come to the conclusion that they will need to be disciplined with their purchases and will need to save their money in order to make particular purchases.

6.  Before they become frustrated, remind them that they get a monthly allowance!  I would say something like, “ I know it’s frustrating not having much money after the bills have been paid, but remember, you will receive another $100 allowance at the beginning of the month for doing your chores!  Let’s go ahead and credit your account with your $100 allowance so you can see how much money you will have at the beginning of next month. See? Keep saving your money and soon you’’ be able to purchase the new Xbox video game. “  (Crediting the account was just for an example.  Be sure to erase the credit and reapply until the allowance has actually been given.)

Below is a sample of the numbers used:

Monthly  allowance ~ $100

Bills: Taxes $10, Insurance $15, Rent $20, Cable $5

Birthday Money: $50

You can take this lesson as far as you would like!  This lesson is to help your child/student learn the concept of money, use a check registry and learn the value of a dollar.  As long as they are engaged from the start, I have no doubts it will be a lesson that will not that will carry on for some time!

Happy Learning!

© Jennifer Perez 7/22/10

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Entry filed under: Math. Tags: , , , , .

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