At stake: two free tickets to the All-Star Game. And all you have to do is guess the correct number of jelly beans in a jar at the Planet Toys store. One particularly smart boy has an idea: Why guess when you can estimate? He plays a game with his buddy as they head over to the store on the bus. With four people per row, 10 rows, and a few folks standing in the aisle, he estimates that there are 43 people on the bus. "I didn't even need a pencil," he boasts.
Knowing how to estimate is an essential skill that helps children determine approximate totals as well as check the reasonableness of their solutions to problems.
Illustrated by S.D. Schindler.
Place a handful of coins on the table and talk about the value of each. Ask questions such as: "Which coin is a dime?" "How many pennies equal a dime?" "How many nickels?" "Can you combine pennies and nickels to make a dime?"
Reread the story with your child (or class) and identify the different coins in the story. How much each is worth?
Practice using coins in everyday situations: Help your child (or students) choose the coins needed to buy a magazine or a healthy snack. What is the correct change needed to ride the bus? Or buy a stamp?
Teacher Idea: Before we read "The Penny Pot," I ask my kids, “How many different combinations can you make using 25 cents?” The answer is 13 different ways. The kids can use money to help them figure it out and can write out how they came to the answer. A lot of them can do it in their heads! When I read the book, they can see the computations. —Richard Callan, Bunker Hill Elementary School, Indianapolis, IN