Friday, March 21, 2014


Does your school use Responsive Classroom?  Mine does and that means morning meeting time each day.  Last year, I purchased this great book for the teachers in my school.

This book is full of great ideas that are quick and easy and some that are a little more involved.  It ranges from grades K-5 and has ideas for adding math into your morning message or morning meeting.  

I have seen this book used greatly in some classrooms and less so in others.  To encourage more use and to get more math into morning meeting time, I have been visiting different classrooms during their morning meeting to demonstrate an activity from this book.  Check out this post about how I used an activity from this book  to work on counting money with third graders or this post to see how I used an activity to work on coin recognition with first graders.

Today I want to share with you yet another money activity that I did with second graders.  I did this with the a full class of second graders during morning meeting but I want to share with you how I did this with a small intervention group before the whole group lesson.  The kids in this intervention group have shown that they need the most support with money, especially with counting quarters.  I find that introducing an activity like this to my intervention group before a whole group lesson can make them feel more confident and give them the extra practice they need.  The whole group activity happened in a similar way.

This activity is called quarters and comes from the first grade section.  I used one of the variations that they suggest in the book to make it more challenging.

I gave each kid a small handful of coins consisting of pennies, nickles and dimes.  They roll two ten sided dice and find the sum.  Whatever the sum is, they find that much money from their coin pile and put it in the middle of the table.  If they get 12, they can make 12 cents any way they know how.  We did have a great discussion about different ways we can make 12 and which way is the most efficient.

A student rolls the dice, finds the sum and places that much money in the center of the table.
Then they pass the dice to the next person.

A student counts money to add to the center pile
Once several students have had a turn, I explain to the students that they are trying to see how many quarters they can earn before time is up.  We discuss how much a quarter is worth and I ask them if they think there is enough money in the center pile to trade for a quarter.  They find that there is and make the trade.  After each kid has their turn from here on out, we stop to see how much money is in the center and if there is enough for us to trade.

Here is our collection of quarters as the game progresses
We played for about 7 minutes and when time was up, we checked for any final trades.  I then asked each student to count up how much money was left in their small pile of dimes, nickles and quarters and to write that amount on the board.  We have been working in class on writing money amounts using a dollar sign and a decimal point and I was hoping they would do this on their own.

This ended up serving as great formative assessment  around the student's current ability to write money amounts.  Notice most students used a dollar sign and a decimal point.  One student used cent notation as well and one student only used cent notation.  Notice in the upper right hand corner one student wrote $4.02.  They had $0.42 left so this sparked some interesting discussion
We finished by counting the quarters we had collected several times.  Two days later when it was time to do this in morning meeting with the whole group, these kids did a great job and felt very confident.

Have you tried getting more math into Morning Meeting?


  1. I have this book on my wish list at Amazon. We don't do of have time for a morning meeting, but if thought it might be good for those few minutes after math centers and before lunch. Thanks for showing how you use it. Sara

    1. It is great for other times of the day as well. The activities range from things taking a few minutes to a whole math class depending on how deep you go an how many of the extensions you do. It is a book that every teacher should have!