Last week we shared easy practice exercises to help teach any student basic math fundamentals and expand their understanding of money and its use. This week, we make additional suggestions of fun and practical activities that apply money related skills to daily life. You may need a collection of coins and bills, a sorting tray, along with weekly sales fliers and a calculator.
- 1. Learn the dollar value of items. Use the shopping cards on abcteach to begin to learn the value of items. Students may use the shopping cards for a “guessing game” type activity – “Guess how much a box of cereal costs?” (the student closest to the cost wins a point!). Students may also use the cards to practice counting out or matching the cost of the item to an appropriate collection of coins and bills.Repetitive use of the cards and money will help students gain a knowledge base for the cost of goods. Another way to practice shopping skills is to ask your local grocery store for extra store sales fliers. Students become familiar with the local store ads and can list items they use regularly and practice counting out or matching the item cost to the correct collection of coins.
- 2. Practicing money usage. Community based instruction trips are a wonderful opportunity for students to practice using money in their community. As part of the plan, ask parents to send in a short list of needed items along with the necessary funds. In class, discuss store aisle contents and name items that might be located on the different aisles (i.e. flour and sugar can be found in the baking needs aisle). Students will use the store flier to determine if their items are on sale, then estimate how much the items on their list will cost.Once at the store, students are encouraged to locate the items on their list as independently as possible, and then check out. Thoroughly supervise students during the entire trip to ensure they acquire the correct items at the best possible price. Students learn responsibility as they carry the items back to school and then home.
- 3. Learning beginning budgeting skills. Plan a daily or weekly menu. Determine a daily or weekly grocery allowance. Using a local grocery store flier, locate items needed to make menu choices. Add up the purchase prices of the items. Can the necessary items be purchased and remain within the grocery allowance? If the cost is more than the budget, brainstorm ideas to cut costs. Learn to compare and contrast name brand items and store brand items. Strive to be a thrifty shopper!
We hope that these strategies make learning money skills both easy and fun. Please let us know if you need additional activities – and we’d love to know what has worked in your classroom!
Posted by Janie Quinn, abcteach Team