Making Change Worksheet
Do your children struggle to figure out how to make change? Check out this making change worksheet or task cards that help children practice counting change.
They were just simple review questions. Questions that should be easy to solve, but ones he kept getting wrong. Over and over I had seen him solve problems this way…
$10.00 – $6.43 = $4.43
It is a simple mistake (he is subtracting 3 – 0 instead of 0-3), but any mistake repeated consistently signals a misunderstanding. And misunderstandings require interventions.
How to Teach Making Change
1. Using Base Ten Blocks to Teach Making Change
My first-grader, who is doing third-grade math, is familiar with using base 10 blocks to support him in subtracting where regrouping is required. I wanted him to make the connection from this concept to subtracting with money, so out came the base 10 blocks again.
I explained that for today, the pennies would equal a cube, longs would equal a dime, flats would equal a dollar, and the cube would equal 10 dollars.
We started off by creating 10 dollars – a cube. I then asked him to take out six dollars. Of course, he replied that he couldn’t do that.
After asking what we could do, he decided to regroup. He also knew that he was going to need to do this for the dimes and pennies so he went ahead and distributed all the base ten blocks.
If you have never done this, here is what he did.
- He broke that flat apart and put 10 flats into the dollar space.
- He then took one flat, broke that apart, and put 10 longs into the dimes column.
- He then took one long and broke that apart. Once he accomplished that he was able to put 10 cubes into the pennies column.
(For clarification, he did not break it apart literally, he would take a long, place it back into the box, and count out 10 cubes.)
Now the easy part!!! He took away three cubes, four longs, and four flats. The answer was right in front of him, and he excitedly proclaimed it.
2. Using Money to Teach Making Change
Intervention two was very similar to the first one. This time, we just used money and went through the same steps from above.
- Start with 10 dollars
- Traded out the 10-dollar bill for 10 ones.
- Borrowed one dollar and traded it out for 10 dimes.
- Borrowed one dime and traded it out for 10 pennies.
Then he subtracted six ones, four dimes, and three pennies. Once again he found out the answer to $10 – $6.43 is $3.57.
3. Without Manipulatives
After lots of playing with base ten blocks and money, we went to the algorithm. The first few times we worked out the problem, we used the base ten blocks so he could see how the algorithm corresponded with the base cubes.
We then proceeded to try out a few problems without any manipulatives. When I was convinced he was understanding we moved to some fun money task cards to teach making change.
4. Counting Change Worksheets or Money Task Cards
Finally, we spent the next few days working on the making change money task cards and recording our work in our math journals. First, we began with the ones that were very simple and straightforward and progressed to the ones that required numerous steps to complete.
Even though my child’s math skills are high, he is still a six-year-old with a very short attention span. When he would choose a making change task card that required multiple steps, we would only do one that day.
Many times we would start our math time off with one making change task cards, and then move on to our lesson for the day. I found it a great way to keep this concept fresh in his mind, but allow us to move ahead with our curriculum.
So if you are finding that your child is struggling with making change using an algorithm, I hope these interventions will help you support them. If this still isn’t working, you may want to consider asking for an IEP, or adding an IEP Money Skills Goal to the existing IEP.
Enjoy the FREE task cards, and You’ve Got This.
You might like this making change puzzle to practice with too.
Worksheets for Making Change
I hope you enjoyed this making change activity. Below are the free making change worksheets. You can download this printable by clicking on the download button.