Teaching Money with this Touch Money Chart

Do your students struggle with counting money? Touch Math Money or Touch Money is a great tool to use when teaching children how to count coins. It’s been a complete game changer in my classroom.

Here is a free student reference chart that your students can keep at their desks or in their math folder to refer to when counting money!

Download the Free Touch Money Chart

Enter your name and email below so that I can send it right over to you. It’ll arrive in your inbox in just a few minutes, so while you’re waiting, enjoy the rest of this blog post, then check your email for the freebie!


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    How Does Touch Money Actually Work?

    It’s really simple. You’ll love this strategy. However, before you teach the strategy, be sure that your students know how to count by 5s. Each coin has a certain number of touch points, as you can see in the image above, with each touch point equalling five (except for the penny – which has a line underneath). The line is equal to one.

    touch money freebie

    Begin with Counting Pennies

    I have my students physically count the pennies, but as they count I have them draw an imaginary line under each penny with their finger, just like the line that’s on the Touch Money reference chart above.

    touch money activities - counting coins

    Practice Counting Nickels Next

    Then we move into counting nickels. I give my students a cup of nickels to count. Again, just like the pennies, I have them physically place an imaginary dot or touch point in the middle of each nickel. As they touch each nickel in the center of the coin, they count by 5s. Since we are working in a small group during this type of activity, I tell the students to “whisper count”.

    This allows them to count “out loud” but at a voice level that isn’t too high, and it’s just enough for me to hear each student count, to make sure they’re on the right track.

    Repeat Process with Dimes

    I repeat the process mentioned above with dimes. But now I’ve combined dimes and nickels. The process is still simple, because students are simply counting both nickels and dimes by 5s. If your students can count by 5s, they count money! That’s the beauty of this method.

    Let’s Add in Quarters

    Once students are comfortable with counting dimes, nickels and pennies, we then add in quarters! And I always have students refer to their touch money chart (freebie linked above) or keep it near their work space, so they can reference it at any point.

    Now that students have counted physical coins, we then transfer this knowledge to a worksheet or printable. I love using matching activities and math sorts for this type of “paper pencil” practice. I have my students draw the touch points on the coins on their printables or worksheets. Then they simply count by 5s to find the total value.

    Printables and Worksheets to Practice Counting Money

    These are some of the activities I’ve used in my classroom to have my students practice counting coins. You can click on the images below to take a closer look at the resource. They’re perfect for independent practice, seat work, or small group work.

    Okay, this activity is really fun, especially for your more “active” kiddos. They’ll answer the money problems and then once they’ve “crack the code”, they will be given an exercise to do! 

    After sitting and answering the money questions, we are giving the kids a break by allowing them to perform an exercise! Click here to take a look>>> Counting Coins Mystery Exercise Worksheets

    Math sorts and matching activities are literally my go-to resource when it comes to seat work and just simple independent practice. Take a look by clicking here >>> Cut and Paste Math Sorts and Matching Printables

    counting coins activities - touch money

    Fun Whole Group Counting Coins Activity

    This is one of my favorite activities >>> Digital Counting Money – Unravel the Fact – fun activity for whole group instruction

    It definitely brings engagement to a whole other level during whole group instruction. I simply pull up the PowerPoint on my screen and call the students down to the carpet with a whiteboard, dry erase marker and eraser. Then we begin answering the counting coins problems together, one slide at a time.

    Here’s the kicker!

    Each time the question is answered correctly, part of a fun fact is revealed. The kids lose their minds over this activity and are so eager to answer the questions so they can find out what the fun fact is!

    Check out this 2 minute video for a quick demonstration.

    counting coins activities
    You can view the resource here.

    My students LOVED learning about elephants in math class! You’ll have to give this activity a try – you, the teacher, will even have a fun time learning some fun facts while you’re practicing money with your students. Click here to take a closer look!


    I hope you found this blog post helpful and were able to gather some ideas for your money unit. Don’t forget to download the free Touch Money Chart. This strategy gave many of my students, especially my struggling students, the confidence to count money.