One of the ways to increase math skills is to make it as real life as possible. Our over-arching "theme" in my math class since the beginning of the year is number sense, place value, and - always - computation (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing). Money is a great way for children to engage in developing skills, as they must identify coin values, practice coin exchanges, count piles of money, and add and subtract money using the decimal point.
Today, one of the money activities was puppet making. Students had to "plan" their puppet by deciding what materials they would use. The plan sheet had a list of all available materials with prices. Students could "spend" no more than a dollar, so they had to plan carefully, and then show me their computations to make sure that they had enough.
Once their planning sheet was completed and checked, they could shop in the puppet supply store and make their $1.00 puppet!