1 Counting By Quarters

The students will encounter counting by quarters often throughout all the chapters of the math program.  The students should be able to start on zero and count and say, “.25, .50, .75, 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75…”)  In class, to make it easier to say, we leave off some of the money words and count it like this, “Twenty-five, fifty, seventy-five, a dollar; one twenty-five, one fifty, one seventy-five, two dollars,…”.

If the students are at the beginning of the memorization process in learning the pattern, I highly recommend that you practice with actual quarters in front of them.  As the students count, they should slide a quarter across the table.  Nothing beats using real money to help them understand this.  Another method, though abstract, is to write Q every time a quarter is counted.  (They see this in their math books often.)  When you do this in written form, and after getting four quarters in a row, put a box around them to emphasize that a dollar was just reached.

After the students start feeling secure counting the pattern, ask them to start on a number other than zero.  You might say, “Okay, count by quarters and start on 75¢ or start on $1.50.”

There’s still another variation to try:  backwards!  First just say, “Count backwards by quarters.  Start at $1.00.”  You will be surprised how difficult this can be!  They should know the pattern forwards and backwards.  Tell them to start at $3.00 and count backwards to zero.

The nice thing about practicing this skill, is that you can do it in the car as you’re driving to school or at the dinner table or while they’re getting ready for bed.  Surprise them; out of the blue, say, “I want you to count by quarters for me.  Go.”