# How to teach counting change...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by everywoman, Apr 30, 2009.

1. ### everywomanActive Member

On another post I put the back story---but here's a summation. I am teaching an 18 year old moderately autistic young man. He is having trouble counting change. I have to get him to count quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies. He knows the values of each, but he insists on counting them wrong. For example, if I show him a Quarter and 2 pennies, he will count it and 2+5+1+1=7.
If you have any tips---send them my way. Math is not my forte---and I'm not sure what to do with this.

2. ### gcvmomHere we go again!

I'm no expert, but I would think you need to go back to having him try to memorize the values for each coin. Until he has that down, it will be much harder to combine the values.

You can have him say the values. Write the values. Draw a picture of the coin with the value written next to it. Practice showing the coin with him responding with the value. Just lots of repetition and reinforcement.

Just my "2 cents" (sorry for the pun!)

3. ### tiredmommySite Moderator

He first needs to understand that a quarter equals .25, or 25/100 (1/4) of an dollar. Try having him draw in 4 slices in a pie and highlight on slice (a quarter). Perhaps because he is so literal & linear you should call the coins 25 cent coin, 10 cent coin, five cent coin and one cent coin?

4. ### Hound dogNana's are Beautiful

Have you tried "playing" store with him? Sounds weird, but it works.

I'm no math whiz myself and never was. But my grandma was determined to teach me the value of money and started in on me as soon as I was about 2 yrs. If she was going to buy something for me (usually under a dollar) she'd hold out a dollar's worth of change in her hand. I had to pick out the correct coins in order to get the prize. By the time I was in kindergarden I could not only do this....but shop for bargains......and add in sales tax to be certain my total would always land within that dollar limit.

Weird part of that is that I can still do it. But now it's with any amount of money. Give me limit, set me loose shopping, and the total of what I buy will be within 50 cents of that limit, sales tax included.

Because I learned it so young.......I do it subconsciously and can't even tell you how I do it. But now all my math has to be thought of as "money" or I can't do it.

Ok. I'm a freak.

Hmmmmmmm. Have you tried setting out several dollar bills on a table. Set 4 quarters next to the first one, set 10 dimes next to the 2nd one, 20 nickels next to the 3rd one, and 100 pennies at the last one. Then make a new set for coins. Take a quarter and place 2 dimes and a nickle next to it. Take another quarter and place 5 nickels next to it. Take another quarter and place 25 pennies next to it.

With this base to show him the "worth" of both dollars and coins you could visually ask him to add the change. Tell him you want 27 cents. Have him choose the right coins to hand to you that will give you that amount. Do not have him write it on paper until he can do it with the coins. Once he gives you the right amount with the coins.....then ask him to try to write it down on paper. Might take many tries before he gets it.

Math......especially money, used to scare me to death in school. Sounds stupid, but I recall being in like 2nd grade and doing the stuff and they'd show pictures of money in the math books and you were supposed to add them up and such and I could NOT get it. I had to pretend I was buying something or it didn't make sense. And usually, I had to close my eyes and visualize real money changing hands before I could do the problem.

Uh......yeah. I said I am a freak.

5. ### everywomanActive Member

Thanks for the ideas. Daisy, I was thinking that maybe some manipulative would do it. He does know the value of each--that's not the problem. The problem is if I write 25 cent and 10 cent above the pictures, he adds 2 + 5+ 1+ 0 instead of 25 +10. I'm going to use real coins next week and have him buy reading time---he gets to choose one of his mutant books to read and looks forward to ending our sessions with them, so maybe if I give him a value for each activity we have to do, and if he does them without "arguing" then he can use the money earned to buy reading time.

6. ### tiredmommySite Moderator

Try using lined paper... but turn it sideways. Use the lines to form columns, each digit gets it's own column. In other words:
-the 2 goes in the tenths column and the 5 goes in the ones column to write out .25.
-the 1 goes in the tenths column and the 0 goes in the ones column to write out .10.
-nothing goes in the tens column and 1 goes in the ones column to write out .01.
It will look like:

25
10
+1
36

7. ### klmnoActive Member

i haven't read the other resonses-sorry! but here's my idea, which work with difficult child. make sure he can count to 100 then by 5's, then add 25=25, etc. make sure he understands the pie concept for 1/4 (1 quarter). then, work on change- identify a quarter and say "25" plus 2 or 5 or whatever.

8. ### KTMom91Well-Known Member

I taught a retail sales course to "adults with various barriers to employment," which pretty much covered it all, from physical/mental disabilities to felony convictions. To get the concept of counting change, we played Monopoly. Once the concept of counting back was ingrained, they did much better with actual money.

I'm an old-school retail manager who insisted that they all be able to count change without the benefit of the cash register, and by graduation, they all could.

9. ### house of cardsNew Member

Can he count by 5's? Mayor counts change by something called touch points. There are 5 spots on a quarter, 2 on a dime, ect.. I can't really say I understand it but it works for him.

10. ### LothlorienActive MemberStaff Member

If I remember correctly, Fran posted something about teaching learning disabled kids about change. I'm going to see if I can find it. If not, perhaps Fran remembers and can find it. I had saved the site on my old computer, before it melted down on me.

12. ### trinityroyalWell-Known Member

I think Tiredmommy's suggestion has a good likelihood of success.
It sounds like, although your student knows the discrete value of each coin, he's having trouble understanding that 25 means 20 and 5, rather than a 2 and a 5.

Teaching him the fundamental concepts of ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands will likely help him. Using the columnar format TM suggested might help.

If you can find a way to make it visual and tactile for him, it might work even better.
For example:

Get a selection of beads in 2 different colours, say red and blue. Make each bead represent the value of one cent, regardless of the colour.

Have a dish of blue beads that represent the ones
Have a selection of red beads, strung together in groups of ten, to represent the tens.

To illustrate that a quarter equals 25 cents, give him 2 of the red bead strings, plus 5 of the individual blue beads. Then ask him to count how many beads there are in total. There are 25 beads in total, therefore the value of the quarter is 25, not 2 plus 5.

I've seen this sort of technique work very will with dyslexic and autistic children. It might be worth a shot.

Trinity

13. ### AbbeySpork Queen

TM's suggestion is perfect. If not turning a piece of paper sideways, get graph paper. It may be a visual thing. I always required my students to do one or the other. It just puts place value in order. (Not like me where I have sticky notes pasted everywhere with chicken scratch.)

Abbey