Monday, May 5, 2014

Preparing for Primary One: Handling / Counting Money

When I heard about the dates for Primary One registration, my first thought was: where is my baby? My firstborn was just a baby not too long ago, and now she is going to be a Primary school student next year! I couldn't believe it! 

After calming down, my next thought was, have we prepared her for this transition? No, no, I don't mean preparing her to do algebra or Newton's Laws of Motion or writing a composition. I am more concerned about essential skills like handling money, reading time, taking down notes. etc.

In this post, I shall share with you how I taught my children how to handle money, and some challenges I faced.

Activity #1. Identifying the denomination of coins and notes

My first challenge: there was a new series of coins which was rolled out last year, the old series and new series have a slight difference in terms of size (I myself had mixed up new 50 cents coin with old 20 cents coin!), so I had to search and collect the two series of coins to carry out this activity.

I taught them to differentiate the coins not only by looking at the sizes, but also to look at the denomination printed on the coin.

Activity #2. Pretend Play

We set up our canteen. Oh well, our canteen for that day sold vegetarian food only. 

In this activity, they learnt about reading price tags, and used the real money to pay. Oh, just notice Hao Hao can count money with his speedy shadow-less hand!

My second challenge: it took me a while to teach them the combination of coins. For example, to pay for something that costs 30 cents, it could be three 10 cents, or one 10 cents plus one 20 cents. 

We started the pretend play with goods ranging from 10 cents to 1 dollar. It was my mistake to be so ambitious. So I reduced the range of prices, and progressively increased the range of prices in the next few pretend play sessions.

My third challenge: 10 cents in Chinese is "一(one)毛". I think I may have caused some confusion by using English and Chinese at the same time. I could have taught them one language, make them familiar first before I use another language.

Activity #3. Real-life application

When we go for shopping, we make effort to teach them to read the price tags. We also hand them some coins to make payment themselves.

I am still working on how to teach calculation of the change. If you have any tips, please share with me ok?

This is our first part of "Preparing for Primary One" series, stay tuned for more sharings!

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  1. Great post! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  2. A good game for children to play, but I did always think it weird to give children toys like the a la carte kitchen, post office playset and other toys that get them interested in low skilled, menial jobs.

    1. Nick, it is not a matter of "get them interested in low skilled, menial jobs", the children learn about Mathematics, social skills, literacy through imagination and play.

  3. Totally agree that the new series of coins make it more confusing for the kids! Old people like me get confused too, by the sizes. Haha! :)
    I find the best way to let kids learn how to handle money, is to get them to buy things, using real money, in real life situations.

    1. Ing, I am confused by the new 50 cents and the old 20 cents sometimes!


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