The last few weeks in Year 2 have been interesting. More interesting than usual, which is saying something as we have a fabulous group of children who never fail to inspire, excite and encourage us to be our best and do our best. Except for the last two weeks, we have been learning, practising and consolidating our money skills - which vary enormously!
Having taught for years, I know that teaching money, coin recognition and giving change is often a real leveller in the classroom. Suddenly, children who previously weren’t confident at Maths become inspirational to others as they can add and subtract using coins. In the last few years there has been a change in how adults and children use money. Children no longer have a handful of coins to take to the corner shop for sweeties and parents often don’t carry notes, let alone change!
Our Maths topic has reinforced the need for this to change! (excuse the pun!) We spent several days ‘remembering’ the value of each coin, with some children looking for the elusive 4p and 6p coin! We practised making different amounts using coins and set up a shop. Fortunately, the prices of the items for sale were not reflective of modern day shopping. However, it was essential for the children to experience swapping coins for items and then checking which coins they had been given and if this was correct! We learnt from this the valuable lesson that everyone should always check their change because not everyone is entirely honest!
I am delighted to report that after a few lessons I could trust Year 2 with my Christmas shopping and be given the correct change, provided I only bought inexpensive items. Our next challenge is adding and subtracting larger amounts using £1 and £2 coins.
If anyone is stuck for an idea to keep the children busy during the holidays, may I suggest some post-it labels for prices and a jar of ‘real money’. Happy counting!