UEN Security Office
Technical Services Support Center (TSSC)
Eccles Broadcast Center
101 Wasatch Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-6105 (fax)
This activity uses money as a way to introduce the relationship between fractions, decimals and percents.
For each student:
This activity uses money as a way to introduce the relationship between fractions, decimals, and percents. Most students have a good understanding of money by fifth grade, even if their reading, language, and/or math skills are not at grade level. This lesson works well with photocopies of coins, but if you have access to plastic coins the lesson would be even more lifelike. Students should already have an understanding of fractions as a way to represent parts of a whole, and of how to simplify fractions. They should also be familiar with the concept of decimals and how to read them.
This lesson uses math journals, assuming that each student has been using one throughout the year. A math journal is a great way for students to record their thoughts about math lessons, new discoveries, example problems, and math definitions. Any type of notebook works well. If you do not use math journals, students can write the results on a piece of paper.
1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude toward mathematics.
2. Become mathematical problem solvers.
3. Reason mathematically.
4. Communicate mathematically.
5. Make mathematical connections.
Invitation to Learn
Distribute a Coin Combinations worksheet and one set of coin manipulatives to each student. (Students may also work in small groups.) Ask students to find as many combinations of coins as they can to make 50¢ using pennies, nickels, dimes, and/or quarters. Students use the manipulatives and record each combination on the sheet.
Irwin, K.C. (2001). Using Everyday Knowledge of Decimals to Enhance Understanding. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 32(4), 399-420.
Half the pairs worked on problems presented in familiar contexts and half worked on problems presented without context. This article presents results of an investigation that showed students who were presented decimal problems in a familiar context succeeded more often than students who were given no context.
Verschaffel, L. & De Corte, E. (1997). Teaching Realistic Mathematics Modeling in the Elementary School: A Teaching Experiment With Fifth Graders. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 28(5), 577601.
Recent research has convincingly documented elementary school childrens tendency to neglect real-world knowledge and realistic considerations during mathematical modeling This article suggests that using real-world modeling can help students have a better disposition toward mathematical concepts.