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Simple Ideas for Teaching Money Skills

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I am a big believer that the students in my classroom need to learn as many life skills as they can while at school. They need to know how to tie their shoes, order at a restaurant, fold the laundry, cook, clean, the list goes on and on. One thing that I love is teaching money skills. People use money every day, so why not start practicing at school!

It seems like we always work with our students on coin and bill identification. We also get them to name the values of coins and bills. While this is important, I believe that they need to know how to count that money as well. And even more important than that, they need to know if the money in their wallet is enough to buy the item that they want.

I love to hear when teachers work with students on generalizing those skills because that is where it really counts. Our students can know that a quarter is worth twenty-five cents but that doesn’t mean anything if they haven’t practiced walking into a convenience store or grocery store and used that quarter to pay for something.

One way to practice is to go to the grocery store and have students practice spending money. But let’s be real, this isn’t exactly a practical thing to do in most schools. Plus, it is hard to plan field trip after field trip for students to go out and practice. It is hard to have a mock “store” in your classroom (although that is a goal of mine, maybe next year). So, I thought about what I could use in my classroom that would be the next best thing. And out came this baby!!

printable and digital options for teaching money skills

In this Money Matching resource, students are able to practice counting money. This resource provides multiple ways for students to emulate the grocery store and practice if they have enough money to buy an item. Let’s take a closer look at the product.

Each card has pictures of the coins a student has in their “wallet”. For instance, it might have two quarters. The student has to recognize that this is equal to 50 cents. Then they are given two options, such as a bunch of bananas for 50 cents and a chocolate bar for 75 cents. Then the student has to choose which item they have enough money for. I like to laminate the cards so students can use a dry erase marker to select their answers. Or students could use a paperclip or a clothespin to select their answer.

4 levels of teaching money skills

I made multiple levels of cards in terms of the amount of money students have in their “wallet”. There are coins only, dollars only, and a combination of bills and coins. There are also cards with visuals and cards with numeral amounts on them. This gives you the flexibility to challenge your students on a level that meets their needs in teaching money skills.

Here is a video product preview you can check out as well!!

If you love the grocery store money match idea, I’ve also created other Money Match sets. There are sets for students to match money to footwear, jewelry, kitchen items, hardware store items, clothing items, and fast food. If the grocery store isn’t appealing to your students, maybe one of these other stores will be appealing.

teaching money skills multiple sets of cards

These sets are on sale individually and also in a MEGA BUNDLE if you’d like to be set for the year practicing the skills and catering to all your student’s interests! Like I said before, I believe that teaching life skills is so important in the school setting. We as teachers have the ability to help students learn these important skills.

If you’d like to try these cards out I do have a free WINTER version available in my TPT store that you can check out too!