It is known that in order to achieve positive educational outcomes, it is necessary for the teacher to use the best endeavors. Nevertheless, in any field of study, there are certain professional teaching problems. These problems may be connected with the teacher’s ability to organize classes in a proper way and to make everything possible to manage their students’ behavior. This issue is very important for the elementary school teachers who should do their best to teach their students the basic concepts and to prepare them for primary school. Of course, they should implement different teaching methods which will guarantee good results. Sometimes, those teaching methods which are used by the elementary teachers are not effective. Moreover, their teaching methods can create certain professional teaching problems.

This paper explores one of those professional teaching problems which can be related to many elementary school teachers – teaching elementary students how to determine the value of money.

PROFESSIONAL TEACHING PROBLEM

The teaching problem which will be discussed in this research paper is the following one: How can teachers at Lakeview Elementary effectively teach students to determine the value of set up to 5 coins that total a $1.00 or less?

THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM

Lakeview Elementary is an elementary educational institution which tries to use modern teaching methods in order to maximize the educational growth and personal development of each student. It is known that Lakeview Elementary is struggling to effectively teach all the students of the second grade to determine the value of a set up to 5 coins that total is $1.00 or less. However, recent assessments show that those methods which have been used by the teachers of Lakeview Elementary do not provide the students of the second grade with the knowledge concerning value of money that is necessary to move to the third grade. 28% of the second grade students fall into “low” category.(School Improvement Plan, 2009-2010, p.9)

It is known that all elementary teachers who work with second grade students are trying to find the way out of this situation. It is very important for them to find right solution. However, the teachers do not attend professional development meetings and do not ask for advice of math specialists. It would be better for them to conduct the individual research which could help them to solve their professional teaching problem.

THE INSTRUCTIONAL CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH WHICH WILL BE DISCUSSED IN THE PAPER

It is known that Lakeview Elementary is a Title 1 school. It means that most students who go to this school are from the low-income families, or single parent families which do not provide any support. The US Department of Education provides support and funding. It is known that each year it provides about $7 billion to Title I schools across the country in order to bridge the gap between the students who live at or near poverty and other students whose families have constant income. (Lorcher, 2009, para.1)

The above mentioned fact should be taken into consideration by the teachers of Lakeview Elementary because in order to solve their professional teaching problem, they should know the financial situation of their students. It is clear that it is more difficult to explain the students from low-income families how to determine the value of money because some of them have never used money. Moreover, it is necessary to increase students motivation. In other words, it is necessary to provoke interest of the second grade students in determining the value of money.

The other very important fact that should be taken into consideration by the second grade teachers is that many students are English Language Learning students who require special teaching approach. It is necessary to add that Lakeview Elementary does have English Language Learning teachers who have enough experience to teach the students in a proper way.

THE MAJOR QUESTIONS WHICH ARE CLOSELY CONNECTED WITH THE PROFESSIONAL TEACHING PROBLEM DISCUSSED IN THE PAPER

According to the results of the survey which was carried out in several elementary schools of the United States, the following questions are considered to be the most important in the process of teaching the second grade students to determine the value of a set up to five coins that total a $1.00 or less:

1. What methods should be used to get the second grade students interested in determining the value of money?

2. How should the teacher explain his students the term money?

3. What are the most effective ways which should be used by the second grade teachers to help the students to determine the value of a set up to five coins that total a $1.00 or less?

KEY WORDS THAT ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PROBLEM TO QUIDE THE INFORMATION SEARCH

1. counting;

2. value of money;

3. second grade math;

4. money history;

5. teaching counting;

6. math for kids;

7. counting coins.

INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES

1. Newspaper in Education Teacher Resources. http://www.nieteacher.org/

2. Instructional Resources. Kentucky Department of Education. http://www.education.ky.gov/KDE/Instructional+Resources/

ADDITIONAL KEY WORDS

1. learning money;

2. counting math games.

USEFUL SEARCHES

The most useful results are achieved when the key words are closely connected with the major issue. That is why it is necessary for the effective search to put specific key words related to the major issue.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the second grade students should know that money plays an important role in our life. They should know the history of money and they should determine the value of money. The teachers at Lakeview Elementary should use up to date technologies to provoke interest of their students: computers programs, games, role play activities. Only in this case the second grade students will have necessary knowledge to move on to the third grade prepared to learn more about money. (Williams, 2001, p.21)

ANNOTATED BYBLIOGRAPHY FOR FIVE SOURCES RELATED TO THE LITERATURE SEARCH

Bodnar, J.(2005) Raising Money Smart Kids: What They Need to Know about Money and How to Tell Them. Kaplan Publishing.

1 Edition.

This source is reliable and useful because it represents a lot of interesting information concerning the issue of money value. The author is an expert on family finances and has a huge experience in teaching children.

Summary of the book: the book consists of 19 chapters each of which touches upon some certain problem connected with teaching children counting and money value. The author represents a great deal of different tests for kids which help parents to identify their kid’s relation to money. Moreover, the author gives a lot of examples of parental communication with children including some interesting stories, dialogues, jokes. Janet Bodnar has three children. That is why all the stories are based on the author’s own experience concerning the issue of teaching children counting money.

That audience includes both the teachers and the parents. The limitations of this source include the fact that this source is preferable for parents because there are many tests which can help children to understand and respect money. However, the teachers of Lakeview Elementary can easily implement some of the approaches offered by Janet Bodnar. The author concludes that it is very important to teach children how to manage money at an early age because it will be easier for him to manage money in the future. The book is full of humorous examples of games and different tests. I really appreciate this source. It will be of great help to solve the professional teaching problem at Lakeview Elementary.

Durant, K. (2011) Determining the Value of Money. Second Grade. Elementary Math. Retrieved from:

This source is a useful one because it can help the teachers to create an effective lesson plan. This source includes discussions, written and verbal tests, worksheets, games, and other tools which necessary for effective lesson. The author of this source is an experienced teacher, a math specialist who knows a lot concerning the psychology of kids and their abilities to understand new material. It has no limitations. I think it is a rather informative and helpful source. The audience includes teachers of elementary schools who are ready to use modern teaching methods. The author of this source concludes that the money play an important role in our life. It is “God’s gift” to his people. He also states that the students should learn the value of money at the early age. They should “add money, subtract money and make correct change”.

Goldfley, N. (1998) Why Money Was Invented? Modern Curriculum Press.

This source is very useful for the teachers of Lakeview Elementary as it can give a simple explanation of the purpose of using money. Neale Goldfley, the author of the book is renowned financial expert who could develop the efficient primary and intermediate educational program which introduces the kids to the major concept of money. The author gives clear definition of the purpose of money in our life. There are practically no limitations as this book can be used by teachers at schools and by parents at home. It can be read during the classwork because it captures the students’ attention to a great extent. The author concludes that “to inform the kids of the major role of money” in our life is very important. There are some additional tools which can help the kids to distinguish money such as a bag of plastic coins and paper money, a money match ups domino game. The audience includes both parents and teachers of elementary schools. There are practically no limitations. The information represented in the book is easy to understand.

The Story of Jack and the Bank Stalk. A Fairy tale. Econedlink. Retrieved from:

This source can help the teachers of Lakeview Elementary to organize an interesting lesson and to inform the second grade students of the importance of money in our life. This source has no limitations as it is interesting for the second grade students and is an actual one for the present day education system. The audience of this source include second grade and third grade students.

The summary of this source: It is an interesting story, a fairy tale which tells about the main role of money, and the function of banks in our life. This source is divided into several sections: introduction, task, process, activity 1, activity 2. It is very easy for the teacher to give a good lesson to the second grade students. There are a great deal of questions which are included in the section Activity. The students can show their results when they answer these questions. It is necessary to conclude that this source is an effective tool for any teacher who has a great desire to teach his students the basics of money.

Zimelman, N. (1992) How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty. Albert Whitman & Company Press.

This source is very interesting and useful for the second grade students because it represents an economic lesson in a form of entertaining story. The only limitation is that some things are rather difficult for the second grade student to understand. Nevertheless, this book can be read aloud in the class. The audience includes both parents and teachers.

The summary of the book: The main character of the book is a student of the second grade who gives a report on the drive to collect funds which are necessary to visit the Statue of Liberty. He and his classmates decided to collect paper in order to sell it to the recycling man and to get money. They also had a great deal of other ideas which helped them “to generate cash”.

The author of the book concludes that his book helps children to evaluate the value of money, to understand the difference between expenses, earnings and profit.

REFERENCES

Casel, K. (2007) Math For Children. Teachers Guide and Problem. Retrieved from:

Helping your Child learn Math.(2000) US Department of Education. Retrieved from:

Lorcher, T. (2009) Understanding the Basics of Title I Funds. Bright hub. Retrieved September 16, 2009 from:

Reisberg, K. (1991) Coin Fun. New York: Franklin Watts Books.

Schwarts, D. (1989) If You Made a Million. Lothrop. New York.

Teaching Children about Money. Online Schools. Retrieved from:

School Improvement Plan. 2009-2010. Lakeview Elementary School. Retrieved from:

Williams, R. (2001) The Coin Counting Book. Charlesbridge. Watertown.

Whitener, M.(2001) Fun with Estimation. Columbia Education Center. Retrieved from:<