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"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Fractions + Snacks = Recipes (and Math...shhh...don't tell them!)

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Kids are naturally attracted to snack foods. If you have been reading here for awhile, you  have probably seen how I have incorporated food ideas in many of the activities. It is because it draws their interest and then you can wrap this natural interest around some nugget of a concept you want them to learn. It could be the layers of the earth or how the Romans made roads or it could be fractions. I have talked about how I have used measuring cup fractions with cooking on more than one occasion. Today's activity, however, was not them following a recipe but around them making up their own recipe. How empowering is that?
I got together a table full of munchies from the cabinets. The rules of the game are, however, that they have to stick within a reasonable 2-cup limit.
I had some of these cutsie little snack boxes for them to make their mixes in.
I gave them slips of paper, some of which were folded into either three sections or eight sections.
They could pick which type of paper they wanted to use and got to work writing down what they picked for their mix.
So, now the game was on.
After the ingredients were added to make 2 cups of snack mix, they shook them up to mix.
This mix is an equal mixture mixed nuts, chocolate candies, white chocolate chips, popcorn; 1/2 cup each.
This is James' mix. We call it El Blano, as it looked so white. His recipe is 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, 1 cup popcorn, 1/2 cup mini marshmallows and 1/4 cup chocolate candies.

This one had a complex recipe of 1/8+ 1/3 cup chocolate candies, 3/8 + 1/3 cup popcorn, 3/8 cup pretzels, 1/8 cup mixed fruit, 1/3 cup white chocolate chips. It all fit within the rules, however.
Here is Quentin's variety mix of 1 cup popcorn, 1/4 cup mixed nuts, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup chocolate candies, and 1/4 cup white chocolate chips.
And what goes better with a math snack than a choice of hot chocolate or tea?
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12 comments:

  1. Oooooo- I LOVE tricksy lessons- especially when they involve food...

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  2. Way to trick the kids into doing some math. ;)

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  3. Love this idea! My boys would have loved learning about fractions this way and it would have been a great Friday treat experience.

    I am sharing on my Google Reader.

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  4. Great way to fill the soul with food and math at the same time. Nice snacks too. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Lovely lesson, you are so creative with math and science, I need some of that. I'm all about English and Art. LOL. The orange beef/chicken is a favorite, it is good. I can find the ingredients at the Walmart, where I do most of my food shopping, so that too is a plus. We are moving in May, and thought that too, but Michael found a good deal on some floor models he couldn't pass up. Try the recipe for the Asian food, it's really good, the kids cobble it up.

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  6. A very fun idea! And now I am really hungry.

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  7. Fun, fun, (chomp, chomp, slurp) learning! You are so smart. Did you see that you are nominated over at the HSBA blog awards in, of course, the best crafts, plans and projects category? (Psst. I was one of the group of folks that nominated you :)
    ~Hodgepodge Lodge

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  8. I remember having to fix a recipe to practice fractions. It was a yummy experience.

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  9. Very fun! I'm going to have to check out the blog you linked.

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  10. Ohh, the best type of learning happens when they don't even know it's happening! For all you do, I am passing on the Stylish Blogger Award. You can pick it up along with the rules at my blog, if you'd like. http://www.homeschoolmo.com/2010/11/ive-been-honored.html

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  11. I love how you gave them free reign on what to make. So much fun and so much cool math! We'll be doing something similar, I'm sure. :)

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