Our annual flea market - the culmination of several weeks working on coin values, counting money, writing monetary amounts with proper notation, and making change - finally happened this morning. The children were looking forward to this very much, as they brought in treasures from home to add to the collection. Discussions, sometimes heated, happened over what amount should be charged for different trinkets. Each item had a price of a quarter, dime, nickel, or penny, completely decided by the group.
I arrived early today to set up the tables. Everything was ready for the students at 9:00a.m., and very tempting! With the dollar they brought from home, each child got to pick one very special thing. After each child got their special item, it was time to spend the rest of their money.
Each time a child from my math group purchased something, they needed to tell me how much change they should receive. In this way, they practiced in a real-life way skills we've been working AND skills that they will need in the future.