## Counting Dimes

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Counting change is something that many students find difficult—particularly younger students. Yet, it's a vital life skill for living in society: Buying a burger, going to the movies, renting a video game, purchasing a snack—all of these things require counting change. Counting dimes is a perfect place to start because it requires the base 10 system—the system we most often use in this country for counting. Before you start your worksheet lessons, head to the bank and pick up two or three rolls of dimes. Having students count real coins makes the lesson much more real.

## Base 10

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As you have students move to a second counting dimes worksheet, explain the base 10 system to them. You might note that base 10 is used in many countries and was the most common system for ancient civilizations too, most likely because humans have 10 fingers.

## Counting Quarters

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These counting quarters worksheet will help students learn the next most-important step in counting change: understanding that four quarters make a dollar. For slightly more advanced students, explain the definition and history of the U.S. quarter.

## Half Dollars and a Bit of History

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Though half dollars aren't used as frequently as other coins, they still present a great teaching opportunity, as these half-dollars worksheets show. Teaching this coin gives you another chance to cover history, particularly the Kennedy half dollar—commemorating the late President John F. Kennedy—±which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014.

## Dimes and Quarters

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It's important to help students advance in their coin-counting skills, which you can do with this counting dimes and quarters worksheet. Explain to students that you're using two systems here: the base 10 system, where you're counting by 10 for dimes, and the base four system, where you're counting by four for quarters -- as in four quarters make a dollar.

## Grouping

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As you give students more practice in counting dimes and quarters, tell them that they should always group and count larger coins first, followed by coins of lesser value. For example, this worksheet shows in problem No. 1: a quarter, a quarter, a dime, a quarter, a dime, a quarter and a dime. Have the students group the four quarters together—making $1 -- and the three dimes together—making 30 cents. This activity will be a lot easier for students if you have real quarters and dimes for them to count.

## Mixed Practice

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Let students start counting all of the different coins with this mixed-practice worksheet. Don't assume—even with all of this practice—that students know all of the coin values. Review the value of each coin and make sure that students are able to identify each type.

## Sorting

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As you have students move onto more mixed-practice worksheets, include additional hands-on training. Give them extra practice by having them sort coins. Place a cup for each denomination on the table, and place a handful of mixed coins in front of the students. Extra credit: If you have several students, do this in groups and hold a coin-sorting race to see which group can perform the task most quickly.

## Token Economy

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If needed, let students complete more mixed practice worksheets, but don't stop there. Now that students know how to count change, consider starting a "token economy" system, where students earn coins for completing their work, doing chores or helping others. This will make coin counting much more real to students—and give them a chance to practice their skills throughout the school year.