Teaching kids about money is an important task. In 2003, I taught second grade at a public charter school in the Orlando area. One of the subjects the students needed to master was counting money. A few students immediately understood the concept, but there were many others who didn’t understand it at all. I sat down with each of those students to try to teach this difficult concept with hands-on counting money activities.
Having received my 3-6 Montessori certification, and reflecting on that experience, I decided that I needed to create a concrete and more independent way to help those children. They needed to learn the value of money and the best way to understand the concept of counting it. I also knew that children learned to count successfully using a Montessori material called The Hundred Board. This could be a connection to counting money. The Dollar Board™© was the culmination of two years of work in developing a curriculum that would accomplish both of those goals.
How to Teach a Child to Count Money – Montessori Counting Activities
There are 13 lessons, songs, and handwriting sheets as well as cardstock material for the children within the Montessori Money Curriculum. There is also the possibility of using either a tempered hardwood or a cloth version of the board.
The curriculum begins by helping children to understand the two different ways to identify the same quantity (i.e. 25¢ = $0.25). This concept continues throughout all of the lessons. There are then the coin layouts to learn the different quantities of money. Once they understand the quantities, all of the coins are laid out to begin a discussion about the various ways to make different quantities.
Once a child has finished this lesson, they begin counting, but only with pennies. After mastering this, they move on to matching nickels and pennies. One coin denomination is added at a time to help a child master the concepts. She must be able to demonstrate understanding without using the board before continuing on. This allows for a child to abstract the skill. A child will be completely proficient at counting money by the end of the curriculum.
The Counting Money iPad App
Numerous children from across the United States have now benefited from using this material. Because it is so popular, we have developed the material as an iPad app that can be used as an extension of the classroom lessons, or for those who do not have access to a Montessori program. The Dollar Board™ app is now available through the iPad App Store.
Let me know what you think about this Montessori Money curriculum!