Texas Mathematics Teacher Spring/Summer 2022 - 27

Financial Literacy in the Primary Grades: Investing in Students' Futures
Kindergarten
According to the TEKS (Texas Education Agency (TEA),
2012) standard 9 for Kindergarten, students are expected
to:
A. Identify ways to earn income;
B. Differentiate between money received as
income and money received as gifts;
C. List simple skills required for jobs; and
D. Distinguish between wants and needs and
identify income as a source to meet one's wants
and needs.
Much of the financial knowledge of students at this
age stems from life experiences. Children who have
opportunities to shop with their parents have seen
spending in action, but their overall exposure to money
can be limited. This is even more true today where
cash is used less and credit and debit cards are more
frequent. Some students do not even have the familiarity
of bringing lunch money to school, but rather use an
identification card or type in a student ID number to pay
for their meal. This makes the understanding of value
and worth much more difficult when there is no actual
exchange of physical currency. I would encourage schools
to use lunchtime as an opportunity to engage in authentic
financial concepts and skills. Though the students at this
level are usually not able to count their money, they are
still being subjected to the concept that items have value
and cost money to purchase.
Because of the lack of contact with money, students need
to explore the coins. They need to touch and manipulate
authentic coins to distinguish their defining attributes,
such as size, color, and rim texture. They need to be aware
that each coin is worth a different denomination and
misconceptions, such as size being related to worth, need
to be addressed. The TEKS (TEA, 2012) recognize this
importance with kindergarten mathematics knowledge
and skill (4), " Number and operations. The student
applies mathematical process standards to identify coins
in order to recognize the need for monitory transactions.
The student is expected to identify U.S. coins by name,
including pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters " (p. 9).
Additionally, students can practice other mathematical
knowledge and skills such as one-to-one correspondence
using pennies to count by one (2A), counting a set of
objects (2C, D, E, G), composing and decomposing
numbers (2I), adding and subtracting (3A, C), and sorting
and classifying (6E).
The knowledge and skills of personal financial literacy
can be accomplished in conjunction with this exploration
of coins through discussions about ways to earn income.
Providing realistic examples such as allowance, jobs, and
careers help students grasp the concept that money is
earned (9A). The students might have older siblings that
have after-school jobs or working caretakers and can share
their experiences. The discussion can then move to how
money can be received through income, but also through
gifts (9B). Students need to begin thinking about what to
do with their money once they have obtained it, which can
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lead to a good introduction to financial institutions where
money can be saved safely until it is needed for a future
purchase. This concept of saving will be developed as the
child progresses, but the conversation can be beneficial for
the more forward-thinking student.
As students explore the concept of earning income,
authentic experiences such as classroom jobs can be
used effectively. Consider listing a skill set for each
classroom job that a child could hold. Talk about these
skills (e.g. a line leader needs to have a good sense of
direction, leadership qualities, and self-control) and why
they pertain to that particular job. Make the connection
to simple skills required for jobs (9C) and how we can
improve those skills. Consider setting up a classroom
financial situation where the teacher is the job and bank
manager and students are paid weekly for completing
their job. Coin stickers can be very helpful in students
keeping track of their individual income. I do not suggest
making this a classroom competition, but rather have the
students set individual goals to save up for their purchase.
At the end of the month, the classroom can turn into
a store where students can purchase things they want
(e.g. stickers, candy, small toys) or things they need (e.g.
pencils, erasers, or crayons). Relate these wants and needs
to life and why it is important to have an income to meet
those wants and needs (9D).
First Grade
According to the TEKS (TEA, 2012) standard 9 in Grade 1,
students are expected to:
A. Define money earned as income;
B. Identify income as means of obtaining goods and
services, oftentimes making choices between wants
and needs;
C. Distinguish between spending and saving; and
D. Consider charitable giving.
In first grade, students are expanding on their financial
literacy by building on the kindergarten concepts and
skills. The Grade 1 TEKS state that " the student applies
mathematical process standards to identify coins, their
values, and the relationships among them in order to
recognize the need for monetary transactions " (TEA,
2020, Chapter 111.3.b.4). Students will again identify
the U.S. coins and their value, but then additionally
start to form relationships between them (4A). They will
also write the number with the cent symbol (4B) and
use these relationships to skip count by twos, fives, and
tens to begin to count collections of like coins (4C). As
in kindergarten, many of these skills can be seamlessly
integrated into the other mathematics standards.
" One way to strengthen students'
financial literacy concepts begins
with a discussion regarding
spending, saving, and sharing.
"
Spring/Summer 2022 | 27
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Texas Mathematics Teacher Spring/Summer 2022

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http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/68-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/67-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/66-02
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/66-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/65-02
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/65-01
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/txmt/64-02
https://www.nxtbook.com/allen/txmt/64-1
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