Friday, November 9, 2012

Identifying Coins

Part of my 5 year old's kindergarten homework lately has been to identify common U.S. coins and determine how much they are worth.  This started with a picture of the front (heads side) of a coin, but has now moved to the back (tails side) of a coin.  My wife was helping our daughter last night when they came to the coin question.  I hear my wife ask me, "what coin is this?"  At first I said, "what do you mean, what coin is it?  Don't you know your coins?"  So I took a look at it and surprised myself when I wasn't 100% sure.  Here's the coin presented on the homework.

Back of a nickel.

Of course, on the homework assignment, the "five cents" was removed so as no to give it away.  My gut reaction was that this is a nickel, but then I started second guessing myself.  I kept thinking that a penny has a similar shaped building on the back...maybe it's a penny.  Finally I had to run to the bedroom to grab a nickel and penny and compare them.  Sure enough, my first reaction was correct.

I'd be surprised if most U.S. citizens can identify coins without knowing the size, color, and the words written on the back/front.  I'm guessing part of this is due to the fact that we use physical money less and less every day as society continues to shift to electronic money.  For me, I rarely use coins.  Whenever I receive change, I usually dump it in my daughters' piggy banks.  It's a rare day if I'm carrying coinage in my pocket and even a rarer day when I use coins to pay for something.  

My daughter's homework assignment was a wake up call that even I, The Cool Science Dad, don't know everything!!!  :-)

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