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Change Mixer

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Students will use their abilities to recognize coins and their values in this game that focuses on locomotor skills (skip, slide, gallop, run, jump). This game also requires students to add coin values.

Coin Type(s)

  • Cent
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • Generic


  • Students will use their abilities to recognize coins and their values.
  • Students will focus on locomotor skills (skip, slide, gallop, run, jump).
  • Students will add coin values.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Physical Education


  • Kindergarten
  • First grade
  • Second grade
  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Addition
  • Coin combinations
  • Coins
  • Dime
  • Gross motor skills
  • Locomotor skills
  • Math games
  • Money
  • Nickel
  • Penny
  • Quarter
  • Value


  • Signs with the numbers 1 through 5 written on them (for teacher to hold up)
  • Signs with the 4 different coin names written on them (quarter, dime, nickel, penny) to tape to the 4 cones
  • 4 Orange traffic cones
  • Music (upbeat)
  • Coins (one per student)
  • Tape
  • Markers



Prepare signs described above.

  1. Give each student a coin.

  2. Have the students stand next to the cone labeled with their coin name. For example, those who have a quarter begin at the quarter cone.

  3. Review the value of each coin as a class.

  4. Explain to the students that when the music begins they will move around the room using a single locomotor pattern (skipping, sliding, running, jogging, jumping) in a safe manner as you hold up a number sign. When the music stops, students will get into groups of the displayed number. For example, if the teacher holds up the number 4, the students get into groups of 4.

  5. Start the music. After a period of time, stop the music.

  6. After the students assemble their groups (they should possess different coin types), have each group add their coin values together to determine how much that group is worth.

  7. Each group will share which coins they have and the sum value of those coins.

  8. Assign a different locomotor skill and play the music again to continue.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • This lesson can be modified by using just one type of coin instead of all four coins.
  • For younger students, have them sort themselves by coins and adding the number of coins in the group, rather than the value.

  • Challenge older students to get into groups that add up to a designated total. For example, the teacher holds up $1.25, then the students try to form groups that equal $1.25.

  • As an alternative for children who are unable to walk or run, invite your students to toss or roll a foam ball back and forth with a partner.

  • The teacher evaluates the students' recognition of each coin and its value by the total amount being recorded in the group.
  • The students evaluate themselves through peer evaluation as to the value of the group.
  • The teacher evaluates the students' locomotor patterns through observation and recording on a check sheet for each student.

Discipline: Math
Domain: K.NBT Number and Operations in Base Ten
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value

  • K.NBT.1. Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, eg, by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (eg, 18 = 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight or nine ones.

Discipline: Math
Domain: 1.NBT Number and Operations in Base Ten
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Understand place value

  • 1.NBT.2. Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases.
    • 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones - called a "ten".
    •  The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight or nine ones.
    • The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight or nine tens (and 0 ones)
  • 1.NBT.3. Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.

Discipline: Math
Domain: K.CC Counting and Cardinality
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Count to tell the number of objects

  • K.CC.4. Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
    • When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
    • Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
    • Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
  • K.CC.5. Count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects. 

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Number and Operations
Cluster: Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • develop and use strategies for whole-number computations, with a focus on addition and subtraction;
  • develop fluency with basic number combinations for addition and subtraction; and
  • use a variety of methods and tools to compute, including objects, mental computation, estimation, paper and pencil, and calculators.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Number and Operations
Cluster: Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • understand various meanings of addition and subtraction of whole numbers and the relationship between the two operations;
  • understand the effects of adding and subtracting whole numbers; and
  • understand situations that entail multiplication and division, such as equal groupings of objects and sharing equally.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Number and Operations
Cluster: Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • count with understanding and recognize "how many" in sets of objects;
  • use multiple models to develop initial understandings of place value and the base-ten number system;
  • develop understanding of the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers and of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their connections;
  • develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers;
  • connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent, using various physical models and representations; and
  • understand and represent commonly used fractions, such as 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: All Connections
Cluster: Instructional programs from kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to
Grade(s): Grades K–2

  • Recognize and use connections among mathematical ideas
  • Understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build on one another to produce a coherent whole
  • Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics

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