Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monopoly and Math

Yesterday, I showed you an activity I was working on in math with my mid-level and low-level math groups.  Today, I am going to share our new favorite activity in my high-level math group!  One day, in the beginning of the year, we were trying to figure out what to do in math before we had our monthly plans put together.  We decided on playing a game...and since we were all so tired of Bingo, we went digging in the game closet for something different.  We came out with Monopoly.  

After playing this game for 10 minutes, we realized how many math skills this game addressed.  And they were the perfect math skills for this group!  The math starts right away during set-up.  As the banker (me) passes out the money at the beginning of the game, the kids work on counting by 1s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s, 100s, and 500s!

For the first couple of rounds, as the kids are buying properties, they have the right bills to pay the exact amount for the properties.  This is great practice for combining different bills together.  For instance, if a property costs $160, the kids could give me a 100, 50, & 10 or 100, 20, 20, & 20, etc.  I love watching my kids come up with different ways to pay!  

Don't forget about paying rent!  When my kids land on a property someone else owns, they have to pay money to each other.  They have to remember who owns what, tell each other how much money they need for rent, etc.

 After a few rounds of buying properties, the kids are all out of $100 dollar bills, and they only have $500s left.  Now, when purchasing properties we get to discuss the idea of change!  I usually start by writing the cost on the board and asking the kids if 500 is "more" or "less" than the cost.  Since it is more, they gave me "too much money," so they get change.  Then, we do the subtraction problem together on the board so as to determine how much change the kid should get.

We usually only play this game for about 30-45 minutes (and in a group of 6 kids), so we never really get to the point of winning/losing.  We just play to work on our money skills and then put it away until the next time.  We have been playing about one time every other week, and I have already seen my kids' money skills improve!  Have you found any fun math ideas in unexpected places?


  1. I love Monopoly, but don't often use it because it takes so long to play. Another money game I love is the Allowance Game and the kids LOVE it!

    1. I will definitely check out allowance! Thanks for sharing!