Counting Mixed Coins with Colored Beads

Counting money can be a tough concept for children to learn.  For me, our state standards require me to teach kindergartners how to identify coins and their values.  But many of my children were more advanced than that and needed extensions.  I gave them a quick lesson on counting same coins.  This was particularly easy for them given all the prior skip counting work they had done on the short and long bead chains.

As I was planning a lesson on mixed coins, I thought of how much easier it would be for the children to learn to count them by incorporating the colored beads into the lesson.  Now, I don’t know if this is already a Montessori lesson or not.  My training is in Primary and I do not remember it from that training.  But it may very well be a lesson from lower elementary.  If it’s not, I’d be very surprised!  It seems to make so much sense.

I simply laid out the coins from least to greatest amounts.  Then I put a single red bead under the penny to represent 1 cent.  Next, I put the light blue bead bar under the nickel to represent 5 cents.  Then the ten bar under the dime and 2 ten bars and a light blue bead bar under the quarter to represent 25 cents.  After I gave the lesson, the children practiced counting several small sets of coins.  After a couple of examples, they were able to easily count any amount of coins (up to one dollar) that I placed in front of them, simply by laying them out and matching beads to them.

One of the biggest challenges that I face with teaching children to count mixed coins is how to transition from skip counting by 10’s to 5’s, or 5’s to 1’s.  But by using the colored beads, it made it much easier to make that transition when counting.

In order for this method to be successful, the children need to be familiar with the colored beads and have practice in skip counting using the short/long bead chains.  My next step will be to transition the children to drawing a pictorial representation of the beads.  This is simply for testing purposes because they will not be allowed to have beads with them when taking assessments.

These colored beads on Amazon are similar to what I have and use:

Hope this gives you another teaching tool for your toolbox!



Grammar Lessons with the Farm

We are in the first year of implementing a Montessori program at my new school.  It’s January, and I just set up the farm in my classroom.  As I was working late the other night with another teacher, we were trying to get the grammar lessons organized and put out in a way that would make it easy for the child to be independent in getting the work.  As we were organizing it, we noticed that we needed to add a few lessons to the sequence.  Of course, not everyone would need to add these, but we felt it would be necessary.

Our farm included an object lesson on plural and singular nouns.  Easy enough.  After that though, it jumped straight to a word sort with singular and plural nouns. We thought it would be beneficial to also add a picture sort between these two lessons.

I created the picture sort, printed, and laminated it.  The kids loved it!  Of course, they love anything with authentic pictures.

The pictures are available on my TPT store below.  They are on sale for 90 cents for one more day!




Welcome Letter

Welcome to Creative Montessori Moments!  My goal is to use this blog to share Montessori experiences, lessons, advice, and anything else that pops up along the way.  I began teaching Montessori Primary in 2010 and I absolutely love it!  Each year I find new and different ways to present lessons and I look forward to sharing those here.  Being in a public Montessori school presents challenges at times, but Montessori can be successfully integrated into a public setting with hard work.

I’m hopeful that this blog will serve as a gathering place where you can not only learn something new, but also where you can share your experiences and advice too.

So welcome!  I hope you enjoy the journey.


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