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Holiday Shopping

Found in: christmas; math; money skills

We are a year round school and my class is off for December so I usually skip holiday stuff. One year, while struggling to teach my students how to count money as well as to add and subtract it, I hit on a really fun way to do it.

After going over the basics, we planned a fantasy lunch with menus from a local burger place. I told the kids they had a given dollar amount to spend, and they chose their lunch, calculated the amount they spent, and the change they should receive.

I added situations such as 'You have $15.00 to buy lunch. Later you are going to a local amusement park and want to have money left to spend at the arcade. What would you buy for lunch that would give you the most change?' (The least expensive lunch was the boy who ordered 'extra cheese' and a soda.)

Catalogs can be used the same way. Have a 'Fantasy Holiday Shopping Spree.' Students will use many math skills, such as estimation, addition, subtraction and regrouping. If your kids are already competent doing paper and pencil math, let them break out the calculators to speed things up.


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