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Counting! Counting! Counting!

April 28, 2021 | Kristen Jordan

For the past couple of weeks, children have worked diligently to help count the coins they collected in their boxes during Lent.

First, they emptied their boxes.

Then children spent time focusing on sorting each of the coins into categories.

Children looked very carefully at colors, sizes and designs on the coins in order to determine where they should go. 

Sorting is a foundational skill for developing mathematical skills.  Discerning the differences between things can be a helpful organizational tool.  Sorting these coins was also a real and meaningful activity; in order to count money more easily, it needs to be sorted first. 

One of the favorite coin categories was “Funny Money” (aka. Any non-U.S. coins or fake coins).  One child had so much fun with these that she remarked, “I know what I’m going to be when I grow up: “A funny money finder!” … “Or an astronaut,” she added.

After all the sorting had been done, the children learned that the next big job for the preschoolers was to count the pennies we had collected.   The rest of the Lenten collection funds have been distributed to others in the school for totaling.  And so the Trees class children undertook the job of counting groups of 10 pennies, a strategy that helped keep track of how much we had.  

Once they had 5 groups of 10, they were able to put those 50 pennies into penny sleeves.  They learned that organizing the pennies this way helps the bank to keep track of the amount of money we send to the bank.   It was lots of great counting practice!

The children learned that the sleeves each hold 50 cents worth of pennies, and that 2 rolls of pennies make 100 cents, or a whole dollar!  We held up 10 sets of 10 fingers so the children could see how much that is! 

After celebrating the $5 in pennies that we counted in the Trees Class, we circled back to thinking about how all of the money collected at Mustard Seed School during Lent will be used to help World Central Kitchen aid restaurants in making meals for people who need food and hiring people who need jobs.  It is so joyful and meaningful to young children to contribute to help others in real ways!  Thank you for your support of this project!

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Trees Class

Kristen Jordan began helping at Mustard Seed School in 2006, after her daughter had been a student in the preschool. She substituted for many years in all grades; in 2011, she returned to the classroom and has been a teacher in The Nest ever since.

Prior to the birth of her daughter Clara, in 2002, Ms. Jordan worked in Brooklyn as a first grade teacher with the New York City Public Schools. During this time, her school collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum, and this work helped Ms. Jordan develop a real interest in the parallels between the process of making art and the process of writing in the classroom. She thoroughly enjoys teaching both art and literacy to preschoolers.

Ms Jordan’s background includes work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. While at Teachers College, she trained with esteemed educator and author Lucy Calkins. Early in her teaching career, Ms. Jordan did not think that she wanted to teach very young children but her view has changed! She now really enjoys and takes great interest in young children and their development.

Ms. Jordan enjoys reading, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her daughter and family. Although she has lived on the East Coast for a very long time, as a native of Oregon, she really loves the mountains!

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