Make a Dollar out of Fifteen Cents: 4 Apps to Learn How to Count Money

Teaching students how to count money is an important skill - even though many of us hardly carry cash and change. How can we give our students the practice that they need to master this valuable skill?  Many of us turn to tangible play money, which is important but not always effective for all students.

I want to offer you a few iPad Apps that could help students master the concept of counting money:

1. Count Money !

Count Money ! is a simplistic app that could easily be used for whole class instruction, small group instruction, or for individual practice. This free App challenges students to make the correct amount of change by tapping on a plus or minus sign above the proper coin. Students are timed on how quickly they can make change for ten different money problems.

I like that you can set the difficulty level from easy to medium. You can also change the number of problems assigned to students (10, 25 or 50). The full version of the App provides more difficulty levels, no advertisements, and a quiz mode.  Even if you only use this for whole group or small group instruction, it could be an effective tool!

2. Counting Money 

Counting Money is also free and has a more detailed looking interface that is easy to use to count coins. The free version of the App provides you with MORE customization tools such as: practice mode, quiz mode, customize the number of questions, difficulty level customization, and a timer.

I love the fact that measuring money is represented in several different ways and modalities (multiple means of representation) such as:

  • Students can actually touch the coin to add to the total
  • An equation appears at the top of the screen to help students understand how many coins are necessary to add up to the correct total
  • If you turn on the "Show the Coins Total," students can have a running total each time they add a coin
Like Count Money!, there  is also a paid version of the App on the App store. 

Counting Bills & Coins offers students an opportunity to count both bills and coins in a variety of modes (multiple means of action / expression), such as: 
  • Counting Money
  • Show Me the Money - where students actually drag the bills and coins on a board to make the correct amount
  • Making Change 
  • Matching Amounts - shows students how to use different combinations to make the same amount
  • Show Values - students can drag bills and coins to see how much they add up to
I love the fact that you can customize your experience by mode, difficulty level, and if you want to use coins and/or bills. 

Eddie is a koala, who needs help understanding how currency works. In a game-like / story approach, you help Eddie understand how coins and bills work. As you progress through each problem, you help Eddie climb a tree to reach his goal and win fun little prizes. Each level increases the difficulty of the problems. 

I like the gamification approach of Educating Eddie Currency; however, this free App would be best suited for lower grades like Pre-K to 1st grade. It also introduces students to non-traditional coins, like the fifty cent piece and dollar coin. 


All of these Apps are perfect for individual, small group, or large group instruction. Even if you have only one iPad in your classroom, each App offers unique ways to help students understand the concept of counting money. 

Have any other money counting Apps that you like? Let me know! 


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