3 Making Change

In chapter three we practice making change up to $1.00.  For example, if a customer bought an item for .67 and paid with $1.00, we practice counting the change in the following way:

1.  Start on 67, put dimes out one at a time into the customer’s hand and say,  “77, 87, 97.”  The students must watch to make sure they do not go over a dollar.  When they get to that last count, I suggest they hold their voice out to help them see there’s a change in coin coming up, “77, 87, niiiiiiinety-seven.”

2.  Then go to pennies and count them one at a time into the customer’s hand,  “98, 99, 100.”

3.  There’s still one more step!  Now say, “So, how much change did the customer get?”  The student needs to count up what’s in the customer’s hand and announce the change or write it on a piece of paper.
I have gone back and forth with the issue of whether to start with dimes or pennies when initially making change to one dollar.  I have opted to have them start with dimes first because it’s easier for them to know when to stop and switch to pennies than starting with pennies and telling them to watch for the next ten you’re coming too.  That latter method was too abstract.

Practice this with pretend costs as low as 8¢ to items that cost 91¢ and sometimes give them costs that end in zero.  Resist the temptation to tell them shortcuts!  They will get a deeper understanding if they start to see it themselves.  If the students are getting very secure doing this, you can introduce the idea of nickels and/or quarters.

It’s best to use real money.  This is what they’ll need to use themselves, and sometimes you’ll find some confusion between some of the coins when the designs aren’t always consistent.



Instead of having them make change up to one dollar, have the students make change up to another amount, for example, 25¢, 50¢, 75¢, etc.  The story might go something like this, “A customer busy a cookie for 18¢ and pays with a quarter.  What will the change be?”