Thursday, November 18, 2010

Math in Our Lunch

We've encountered math in our lunch! Amazing how the best math lessons seem to happen spontaneously. How, you ask? Here are some examples (with some added extras for the adventurous):
  • Cut deli-sliced cheese and meat into equal parts. Discuss halves, quarters, thirds. Write the fractions (to extend to the symbolic representation).
  • Cut a sandwich in two equal pieces. Discuss equal and half. Write the fraction. Older children could cut sandwich into fourths. Discuss equal fractions and introduce adding fractions with like denominators.
  • Cut rectangle slices off the end of a rectangular prism of cheese. Find other rectangular prisms in the kitchen (boxes of crackers, cereal, tea bags, etc.).
  • Identify additional solid figures (cubes, cones, spheres, and cylinders). Compare to geometric shapes: circle, rectangle, square, triangle, and oval.
  • Cut each rectangle slices of cheese into two squares and placed on a circular cracker. Find other squares and circles around the house. Look for right angles. Discuss straight and curved lines. Estimate the circumference of the cracker. Write the number to represent the estimate. Measure circumference of the cracker with a string and then measure the string with a ruler. Write the actual length and find the difference between the estimate and the actual.
  • Measured the height, length, and width of the faces of the cheese block. Older children could calculate the volume.
  • Discussed right angles, sides, angles, faces, length, width, height, circumference, diameter, and radius.
These an other kitchen math adventures are available in my Flip Three Pancakes with One Spatula book.

Helpful resources: (concept explanations) (book lists for related math topics) (math in the grocery store)