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Page history last edited by Tashe Harris 3 years, 8 months ago

3.N.4.2 Select the fewest number of coins for a given amount of money up to one dollar.

In a Nutshell

Students learn to find the fewest number of coins to represent a given amount. They will need to utilize their number sense in this task as they start with the larger coins and work their way down.This group of coins can include pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Student Actions

Teacher Actions

  • Demonstrate procedural fluency by determining a logical method to find the fewest amount of coins needed to pay a certain amount. For example: What is the fewest amount of coins used to represent 76¢? You would start by using coins with the greatest value. Then you keep moving through the different coins in order of value (1. Quarters, 2. Dimes, 3. Nickels, 4. Pennies). In this case, we would use three quarters and a penny for a total of four coins.

  • Develop strategies for problem solving by creating multiple representations of coins and persevere until they find the least amount to pay with.

  • Communicate mathematically when justifying the method they used to find the least amount of coins for a certain value.

  • Develop a productive mathematical disposition when describing real life situations where they would use this skill.

  • Pose purposeful questions to help students recall prior knowledge and justify their thinking. Questions may include: When would you want to pay with the fewest amount of coins possible? Why is that a valuable skill? What strategy can we use to help us get the correct answer? In real life, can we always find the fewest number of coins to pay?

  • Facilitate mathematical discourse using money vocabulary.

  • Implement tasks that give students real-world scenarios where they would need to find the most convenient combination of coins to pay for an item.

  • Support productive struggle as students use manipulatives and models to problem solve. 

Key Understandings


  • Finding the smallest amount of coins to represent a value is a beneficial skill in the real world. People do not carry around 98 pennies or 20 nickels. They must learn to be resourceful with the larger value coins.

  • How various ways to find an amount of money is going to help when paying with change or creating change.

  • They start with pennies to create an amount.

  • The coin combination has to have a quarter. For example: 16¢--- fewest coin combination would be a dime, nickel, and penny.

OKMath Framework Introduction

3rd Grade Introduction

3rd Grade Math Standards

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