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Mrs. Stephenson from Inkster MI is requesting Reading Nooks, Desks & Storage through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Teaching Functional Money Counting Skills for Independence

My students need Medium Tuff Totes with assorted shape buttons, realistic Plastic Coins and Paper Money in order to distinguish shapes, practice counting money and be assessed fairly in all classroom with consistency.

  • $1,124 goal

This project expired on July 5, 2018.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Our school serves approximately 144 students with Autism from grades K-12. Students with autism spectrum disorder or ASD are often visual and tactile learners, meaning they do best when they can actually see and touch concrete examples. Our students learn best by doing. In the classroom we use tools like visual schedules, social stories with pictures, and modeling. These are really good ways of helping them learn and understand concepts. Most children with ASD are very literal and concepts learned in the classroom are hard to carry over into the real world. We put a lot of focus on critical functional skills to promote their independence in the community.

My Project

For students with intellectual disabilities and lower function, counting money is one of the skills they will need for self-determination and creates the opportunity to live independently in the community. Like all skills, counting and using money needs to be scaffolded, building on strengths and teaching the "baby steps" that will lead to independence. Before students can count coins, they have to be able to correctly identify what a coin is. The most basic step towards counting money is to identify shapes such as buttons. Then they have to be able to identify at least the most common denominations: pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. For low function students this may be a long but worthwhile process. Consistency is what helps our students grasp concepts. Depending on the student's level, approaches include: sorting. matching and discrete trail training. In order for our students to have the best chances at success it is important to be consistent in the approach and materials used. We have 24 classrooms that range from kindergarten to 12th grade. If every classroom has the exact same Tuff Tote with the exact same manipulatives, coins and paper money, then no matter what grade or classroom they go to we will be building on their prior knowledge, or in other words scaffolding from grades K to 12. Counting money also builds a foundation for understanding the base ten system of numeration, which will help with decimals, percents, and the metric system, vital for science, technology, and even the social sciences. This project is for all of our classrooms. All 144 students will benefit! Counting money is a critical functional skill for all students.

Mrs. Stephenson
Grades PreK-2
Half of students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 144 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
WT363 - Medium Tuff Tote • Lakeshore Learning Materials $12.99 24 $311.76
RA588 - Jumbo Buttons • Lakeshore Learning Materials $29.99 8 $239.92
RA807 - Plastic Coins • Lakeshore Learning Materials $29.99 6 $179.94
RA521 - Paper Money • Lakeshore Learning Materials $29.99 6 $179.94

Materials cost


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Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


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Project Activity

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