Adult Ed
Pocket Change



Have you ever stopped to think about the change in your pocket? How many dimes do you have? How many quarters? This self-directed lesson helps learners to understand algebraic relationships using the coins in their "pocket." Interactive games that demonstrate the use of estimation in algebraic problem solving help learners build a framework for understanding word problems in a way that makes complete "cents!"

Target Level
  • Pre-GED/GED
Subject Matter
  • Algebra

Learning objectives:

Learning Objectives: (Image)
Students will be able to
  • Use visual clues to estimate equivalent amounts.
  • Develop numerical expressions to help solve word problems.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics - Algebra
  • Understand the meaning of equivalent forms, expressions, equations, inequalities and relations
  • Relate and compare different forms of representation for a relationship
  • Identify essential quantitative relationships in a situation and determine the class or classes of functions that might model the relationship

Media Components

Cyberchase - Poodle Weigh-In
This game is found on the companion site to the award winning PBS math program, Cyberchase. Use visual clues to estimate and mathematically determine equivalent relationships while also building on basic measurement skills.

WWW Multipurpose Interactive Server, Arithmetic tables

This interactive site has activities in different languages. For this lesson, learners will use the "Arithmetic tables" activity to visually construct equivalent relationships as a precursor activity to the advanced concept of matrices. This lesson has been translated into French for students who would prefer to complete the lesson in French.

  • Collect enough loose change from a piggy bank, pocket or toy money pile.
  • If necessary, load appropriate plug-ins (Real player, Adobe Acrobat) to your computer.
  • Make copies of the WHAT'S IN MY POCKET Worksheet.