Online Resources to Teach Money Math

Teachers know it: money math is difficult for many students.  This has been true a long time—after all, money math relies on decimals, fractions, and a firm grasp of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  I think today’s kids have an even harder time with it because so many transactions now are done with credit or debit cards, so there are fewer opportunities to touch and count money.

Here are some online games to help your students with money math.

Counting coins

This game is perfect for figuring out which coins you need to make a certain amount. I wish I’d found it during our money unit this year. The kids would have loved it!

The next level up is to look at a group of coins and figure out how much money it is. One of my students had trouble with that skill, and this game might help.

Making Change

I think making change is the ultimate money-unit challenge for students.  Kids can get through a standardized test by just subtracting, but they are so proud when they master the skill of making change by counting up.

This making change game lets you click on pictures of coins to make change. It’s fun!

This one is also good. It has more of a fun, cartoon kind of look. Unfortunately, that also makes the coins a little harder to recognize.

Here’s another making change game.

Money Math Seatwork is my favorite site for money math worksheets.

Dad’s Worksheets has a nice section on Money Word Problems.

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Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Mar 22, 2012


National Center for Educational Statistics

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP test, is commonly called “The Nation’s Report Card.”  The results of this test are commonly cited in news articles comparing states, noting areas of weakness in our students, and analyzing trends.

I think anyone with an interest in education would enjoy perusing the state profiles at the National Center for Educational Statistics.  The data at your fingertips is just amazing.  You can highlight your state and immediately see NAEP data for both 4th and 8th grades for the last ten years.  It’s interesting to see how many students in your state scored at or above basic, proficient, and advanced.

The real fun comes when you compare the states.  The website makes it so easy.  Say you want to compare the 4th grade reading data in your state.  Go down to the chart of scores and click on “compare.”  You are taken to a screen that looks like this.  Now the states are color coded to indicate which states had a higher average scale score, which states were not significantly different, and which states had a lower average scale score.  You can see the same score data in two graph types: bar and line graphs.

The NAEP website is a good place to find demographic data for your state.  Just scroll down and you’ll see it on the side of the screen: the number of students, teachers, the student-to-teacher ratio, the ethnic breakdown, and more.  Here is an example for New Hampshire.


  • The data can be helpful for the just plain curious.  How does your state really stack up against all others?  Is the situation as dire as politicians would have you believe?
  • The data can help you with papers for advanced degree programs, professional development, or presentations.
  • The charts, graphs, and map-with-comparisons are wonderful examples of data for your class.  I really like how you can see the same data in a table, map, bar graph, or line graph.


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Posted in Education Policy and Reform,Math by Corey Green @ Mar 20, 2012


FREE Standardized Test Prep Worksheet and $10 off coupon for Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!An occasional series with sample pages from the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

My publisher is running a limited-time-coupon for $10 off Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! to help your class prepare for standardized testing.  Use Coupon Code NGUTA5C6 and click here to order.  The offer expires April 15, 2012.

More than just a workbook, Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! is a comprehensive curriculum that makes learning multiplication easy, enjoyable and relevant to real-life situations. Written by a master teacher, it addresses how kids really learn.

> Multiplication facts: scaffolded, comprehensive approach helps kids memorize their facts and cement their learning.

> Word problems (lots of them!) help students see the relevance of multiplication. There are word problems for each times table, level of multiplication, themed word problems, and long-multiplication word problems.

> Standardized testing content boosts students’ confidence and courage as they face the stresses of the standardized testing environment; answers teach strategies for getting it right!

> FUN! Friendly animals guide kids through the lessons. Certificates acknowledge achievements. Real-life word problems show how multiplication helps in sports, movie making and beyond!

The FREE standardized test prep worksheets never expire. This sample is Part 2 of an occasional series with sample pages from the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

Tip # 2: Determine what must be in the ones place

This is a really simple trick that lets you quickly eliminate wrong answers. Check just the ones digit of the problem. Multiply quickly in your head, and you will know what the ones digit must be in the correct answer. This trick works when you multiply by 2 or 3 digit numbers (and even bigger numbers) because the when you do your hugs and kisses, you never put any new numbers in the ones place.

Example A: 48 x 3: since 3 x 8 is 24, you know 4 must be in the ones place. Eliminate all answers with a different digit in the ones place.

Example B: 246 x 316: 6 x 6 is 36, so you know 6 will be in the ones place. Eliminate all answers with a different digit in the ones place.

Click here for FREE worksheets about this skill, straight from the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

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Posted in Academics,FREE Worksheets,Math by Corey Green @ Mar 15, 2012


Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day

On Saint Patrick’s Day, we’re all Irish!  Have some fun with your class.

Preparation: get a class shamrock plant.  (Bonus points if you can convince a parent to donate it!)

Ask the kids to save their milk cartons from lunch.  Use them to take home a piece of the class shamrock plant.  Students can repot a piece of the shamrock plant and grow their own at home.  Learn how to grow a shamrock plant at

If you are learning about immigration in Social Studies, tie the Irish immigrant experience in with your Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.  You could talk with your class about how Irish immigrants were treated and compare it to immigration today.  The countries of origin have changed, but in many ways, how people view immigrants remains the same.  Read Eve Bunting’s Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story.

Grownups, take this opportunity to read a book by a wonderful Irish writer, Maeve Binchy.  Her books immerse you in Ireland, and you know her characters better than you know your own family.  Tara Road is her magnum opus, and her newer books all feature that Dublin neighborhood.  Every single book by Maeve Binchy is wonderful.  I read them over and over again.

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Posted in Fun With Literacy,Holidays by Corey Green @ Mar 13, 2012


Learning with the Lorax

Here are some fun ideas for Learning with the Lorax from a National Board Certified Teacher.  

The Lorax, the latest Dr. Seuss movie adaptation, stars Zac Efron and Taylor Swift voicing Ted and Audry.  Kids will demand fan activities for these two popular actors right away, so here are some ways parents and teachers can be really cool.  Don’t tell the kids that these activities also tie in nicely with NEA Read Across America Day!


Lorax Games

> Don’t Whack the Lorax: a game tie-in with the movie
> Ted’s Scooter Dodge: a game tie-in with the movie
> Dodgeberry Blast: a game tie-in with the movie
> Hummingfish & Swomee-Swan Survival: a game tie-in with the movie
The Lorax Quest Game at Seussville: You are in charge of truffula seeds. And truffula seeds are what everyone needs! Gather the truffula seeds from the characters and help the Lorax grow a whole new forest! To reach the game, go to the Seussville Games Page and click “forth” until you come to the Lorax game.

Lorax Worksheets from Random House:

> How Many? A fun counting worksheet—count how many you see in the picture! Your students will need a good working knowledge of The Lorax to complete this worksheet.
> Dear Mother Earth: Write a letter to Mother Earth stating what you will do to help preserve her. The worksheet is basically nice Lorax-themed stationery.
> Lorax Maze:  Help the objects find their way to the recycling bin.

Lorax Writing Contest: Every Inkling Makes a Difference. The contest opens March 2nd. Your students can write an online story describing one creative idea for living sustainably. The grand prize is a $10,000 scholarship. There are 3 prizes in two categories: grades 3-5 and 6-8. Click here for the student printable explaining the contest.

Read The Lorax, Available at

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Posted in Fun With Literacy by Corey Green @ Mar 2, 2012