ALEX Learning Activity

Guiding Students' Next Steps for Money Word Problems

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Nicole Terrell
System:Florence City
School:Forest Hills School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2160
Guiding Students' Next Steps for Money Word Problems
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:

Critical thinking is a relevant skill for today. Prior to this learning activity, students will explore the values of each coin, the dollar bill, and will have been exposed to money word problems. In this learning activity, “Plickers” are used to formatively assess solving money word problems to guide the teacher's next steps. Students will use critical thinking when deciding what operation to use in each money word problem. Students will be able to make real-world connections when adding/subtracting different coins.

This activity was created as part of a collaboration between Alabama Technology in Motion and ALEX. Activity author recommended by TIM Trainer Barry Wiginton.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
MA2019 (2019)
Grade: 2
24. Solve problems with money.

a. Identify nickels and quarters by name and value.

b. Find the value of a collection of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies.

c. Solve word problems by adding and subtracting within one dollar, using the $ and ¢ symbols appropriately (not including decimal notation).

Example: 24¢ + 26¢ = 50¢

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.2.24 Using vocalization, sign language, augmentative communication, or assistive technology, identify and demonstrate knowledge that money has value; limited to penny = 1 cent, nickel = 5 cents, dime = 10 cents.

Learning Objectives:

  • Using the correct symbols, second-grade students will solve money word problems individually involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies and decide whether they need to add or subtract.
  • Second-grade students will respond to questions involving money word problems using Plickers response cards.
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

  1. Prior to this learning activity, students have learned the attributes of coins, their values, and have been introduced to money word problems. Students have also had practice adding and subtracting money equations.

  2. The teacher explains that they will be reading money word problems, deciding which operation to use, and then adding/subtracting to get an answer. They will be expected to use correct symbols when recording their answers. Once the students have worked the word problems on their own using pencil and paper, they will be assessed using Plickers to guide the teacher's next steps.

  3. The teacher then shows students an example of both an addition and subtraction money word problem.

  4. The teacher then hands out “money word problem task cards” with ten different money word problems. Students will work out each problem individually and label their answer.

  5. Once all students have completed their task cards individually, the class will do a formative assessment using Plickers. Each student will receive a response card. The teacher will have premade questions on the Plickers website to match the task cards. Students will then hold up their responses to the questions they answered on the task cards.

  6. The teacher will display the question. The students will hold up their response card to match the answer they calculated on their own. The teacher will then scan in all student answers. The teacher will then have a student explain how they calculated the correct answer and show their work on the board.

  7. Once all ten word problems have been assessed and reviewed, the teacher will look at the data on the Plickers data report sheet to decide who has mastered the skill and who still needs support.

  8. The teacher will then work with the students who need support at a small group table. The teacher will keep a checklist to mark student progress. This group will practice simple money word problems. (Example: If you have one dime and one penny, how much money do you have?)

  9. As these students in the small group begin to show mastery of simple word problems, the teacher will then begin to make the word problems more challenging.

  10. For students who showed mastery during the formative assessment check, they will move to more challenging money word problem tasks. The teacher will visit with these students in the small group to see how well they performed with the challenging problems.

  11. The teacher will use the Plicker assessment results and the knowledge gained from the small group setting to guide the next steps to teaching money word problems.

Assessment Strategies:

Students’ will be assessed during the lesson by using the Plickers formative assessment tool results to determine if students can solve money word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately.  

These results will show the teacher which students have not mastered the standard and allow the teacher to develop additional activities for these students. During small group sessions, the teacher will keep a checklist to mark whether students are proficient, working towards proficiency, or not proficient.

Advanced Preparation:
In order to scan students' responses, you must have the Plickers mobile app installed on a teacher's digital device. Only the teacher will need to download the app.

Teachers must become familiar with the Plickers assessment tool and print student answer cards. Directions and tips are located here.

The teacher will also need to create questions within Plickers which match the questions on the student money word problems task cards. The teacher will also need to create a checklist for small group instruction to mark which students are making progress and which students are not.

Explanation of formative assessment tool “Plickers”:

Variation Tips (optional):
Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
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