Overarching Standard: MA.1.M.2 Tell time and identify the value of coins and combinations of coins and dollar bills.

Benchmark of Focus

MA.1.M.2.2: Identify pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, and express their values using the ¢ symbol. State how many of each coin equal a dollar.

Benchmark Clarifications

Clarification 1: Instruction includes the recognition of both sides of a coin.

Clarification 2: Within this benchmark, the expectation is not to use decimal values.

Related Benchmark/Horizontal Alignment

  • MA.1.NSO.1.1

Vertical Alignment

Previous Benchmarks
This is the first grade level where students will explore money concepts.
Next Benchmarks

Purpose and Instructional Strategies

The purpose of this benchmark is for students to formally recognize the respective value of coins. (MTR.5.1, MTR.7.1)

  • Instruction includes both the front and back sides of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
  • Instruction emphasizes that the relative size of the coin is not representative of its value in comparison to other coins. (MTR.5.1)
  • Instruction uses the format 25¢, not $0.25.

Common Misconceptions or Errors

  • Students may believe the value of a coin is directly related to its size (e.g., a nickel is bigger than a dime and is worth more, or a penny is bigger than a dime, so it must also be worth more). In these cases students need additional practice identifying a coin with its actual value.

Questions to ask students:

  • What are the defining attributes and value of a penny? nickel? dime? quarter?
    • Sample answer that demonstrates understanding: The student can identify people or landmarks on the coin along with some defining attributes (color, size, texture of sides). Such as, the sides of a dime and a quarter is bumpy/rough while the sides of a penny and nickel is smooth, a penny is the only cooper/brown colored coin, and a nickel is bigger than a dime but the dime is worth more.
  • What is the most efficient way we can count a group of nickels? Dimes?
    • Sample answer that demonstrates understanding: Since the value of a nickel is worth 5¢, we can count by 5s to find the value of a group of nickels. We can do the same with dimes. Since the value of a dime is worth 10¢, we can count by 10s to count a group of dimes.
  • Does the size of the coin determine whether it’s worth more?
    • Sample answer that demonstrates understanding: Size does not determine the value of a coin. A nickel is bigger than a dime in size but not in value.
  • How can we represent 100 cents in multiple ways using like coins?
    • Sample answer that demonstrates understanding: 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, 4 quarters.
  • What symbol can we use to represent the word cent?
    • Sample answer that demonstrates understanding: ¢

Instructional Tasks

Instructional Task 1 (MTR.7.1)

Part A. Using the table below, identify each coin’s name and its value.

Part B. What is the total value of the coins on the table?

Part C. With a partner, compare your value column and discuss if you both came up with the same total. What could you do to figure out who is right or check your work for accuracy?

Instructional Items

Instructional Item 1

Additional Resources:



Identify Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters (CPalms)

Coin Attributes (NCTM)

Identify and Count Coins (Blog Post)

Identifying Coin Values (Blog Post)

Introduction to Coins (Blog Post)

Teaching Coins (Blog Post)

Identifying Coins (Blog Post)

Read Aloud

Lots and Lots of Coins by Margarette S. Reid

The Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak Williams

Online Resources

Identify Value of a Coin (song; YouTube)

Ways to Make a Dollar (song, YouTube)

Coins (US Mint)

Resources/Tasks to Support Your Child at Home:

Names and Values of Coins (online practice)

Coin Identification (online practice)

Break the Bank (online game)

Identify Coins (YouTube)

Coin Scavenger Hunt (activity)

Coin Rubbing and Matching (activity)

Peter Pig’s Money Counter (online game)

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