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Secrets of Good Lessons
Make the Familiar Strange or the Strange Familiar

Instructions for calculating a solution to the coin problem

U.S. coins

Weight

Thickness

Diameter

grams

mm

mm

=======

=========

========

Penny (1959-82)

3.11

1.55

19.05

Penny (since 1983)

2.5

1.55

19.05

Nickel

5

1.95

21.21

Dime (through 1964)

2.5

1.35

17.91

Dime (since 1965)

2.268

1.35

17.91

Quarter (through 1964)

6.25

1.75

24.26

Quarter (since 1965)

5.67

1.75

24.26

1 inch=25.4 mm             1 pound=453.59237 grams 

To determine an answer for a specific student 

1. for the person's weight 

a. Multiply 453.59237 (the # of grams in 1 pound) by the person's weight
b. Divide the answer from a. by the weight of the coin in grams
c. Divide the answer from b. by the number of coins in one dollar
d. Round the answer from c. to the nearest penny

2. for the person's height with the coins stacked 

a. Multiply the number of feet tall by 12 then add the number of inches
b. Multiply the answer from a. by 25.4 (the number of millimeters in one inch)
c. Divide the answer from b. by the thickness of the coin in millimeters
d. Divide the answer from c. by the number of coins in one dollar
e. Round the answer from d. to the nearest penny

3. for the person's height with the coins laid edge to edge 

a. Multiply the number of feet tall by 12 then add the number of inches
b. Multiply the answer from a. by 25.4 (the number of millimeters in one inch)
c. Divide the answer from b. by the diameter of the coin in millimeters
d. Divide the answer from c. by the number of coins in one dollar
e. Round the answer from d. to the nearest penny


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original web posting: Tuesday, March 14, 2000
last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2005