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Excel Math Blog

Friday, November 22, 2013

Counting Coins: Kennedy Half Dollars

U S Flag

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of John F.. Kennedy. 

When our much-loved 35th president was assassinated on November 22, 1963, our nation was deeply saddened and shocked. 

The fact that it happened during a motorcade in Dallas as crowds lined the streets and others watched the televised broadcast added to the turmoil and grief.

There was such strong public sentiment that Congress made a special law to commemorate President Kennedy on a coin—the half-dollar. 

 In February 1964, the first Kennedy half-dollar coins were struck.

Download an outline of the Kennedy Half Dollar Coin to color at The U.S. Mint Education division:

Kennedy half dollar

In Excel Math, we teach students how to add dollars, half dollar and coins and make sense of monetary calculations. Pictured below is a Guided Practice page from the Excel Math Second Grade Teacher's Edition. See if you can identify the coins and solve the problems in Section E without looking at the answers. Can you recognize the coins? (We've given you the answers so you can check your work.)

Grade 2 Worksheet

Click here to see Excel Math samples

In 1976 a Kennedy bicentennial half dollar was issued. On the front (obverse) the dates 1776-1976 were added, but theKennedy  portrait remained the same. The reverse image was changed for this new coin to show Independence Hall in Philadelphia. 

This year the U.S. Mint issued the 2013 Kennedy half dollar. It features that same 1963 portrait of President John F. Kennedy by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Gilroy Roberts. The reverse design includes a heraldic eagle with a shield, reminiscent of the presidential seal. Read more and see the new issue of this coin at the U.S. Mint website.

In Excel Math, students learn to recognize coins, calculate costs and solve word problems involving money and decimals.


President Kennedy


Martha Washington Dollar

Martha Washington Dollar Coin

Abigail Adams Dollar Coin
Abigail Adams Dollar Coin

If your students need help identifying coins and U.S. Presidents, this online game is a fun way to practice. Several presidential coins or portraits are pictured your students answer related questions such as, "This president was elected in 1960." Students drag the correct coin or portrait into a box to answer each question. Try your hand at the presidents game at U.S.

Remember, Excel Math lessons are much more than just worksheets.

Using strategically placed spaced repetition, Excel Math gives you a proven approach to teach math concepts for long-term retention, with powerful features including our unique Spiraling Strategy and CheckAnswer syste

Read more about Excel Math and try a sample lesson.

Many former Excel Math students mention that they first began to develop a love for math in their elementary school years. 

With Excel Math, students learn practical ways to apply mathematical concepts to their everyday lives.

Excel Math Worksheet

Excel Math Student Lesson Sheets

You might also like these articles:

Falling for Math: Ten Frame Activities 
Pumpkin Math: Subtraction
Letting Students Fail 
Shaping Up with Math  
Bridging the Gap to Common Core Math

New to Excel Math? Preview elementary math lessons that really work for Kindergarten through Sixth Grade on our website:

Excel Math is a proven mathematics curriculum for Kindergarten through Sixth grade students. Used in classrooms for more than 35 years, Excel Math curriculum carefully presents math in a spiraling fashion. Students learn and review different concepts throughout the year while developing a solid foundation of math skills. Learn more at

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