Turkey. Turkey. Turkey.

We all know- turkey has been on your mind since November 1st. Trust me- I’m right there with you.

The question is… how can we make Thanksgiving not only about what we are thankful for but lets get the kids to help because that is what the holidays are about right?! RIGHT!

Of course we need to interact math with turkey day because.. well, why not.

Lets look at how the kids can help!

How many people are coming over? How much food will we need to buy? How many pies should we make so each person gets atleast one piece? These are the typical questions I hear each year from everyone!

Many families prepare large meals for their family and friends; so it can be the perfect time to involve your children in dinner preparation to incorporate real-life conceptual understanding of mathematics. Here are some activities to make it FUN!

Lets look at the turkey, the main meal. Have your child determine what size turkey you need to feed everyone coming for dinner. How many pounds should you purchase if you have 10 people attending and 1 ½ pounds go with one person?
Already bought a turkey? Have your child calculate how much each person can have with the turkey you have. If you have a 20 pound turkey and 8 people coming for dinner.. How much turkey will each person be able to have?
Review time by helping your child write down the times that the turkey went into the oven and the time it should come out. Younger children might need a little help calculating the number of hours if it crosses a Noon.But a great way to interact time, math and numbers!
Now, Setting the table. Simply counting out forks, knives and spoons can be helpful practice for many early learners. You can even do this every night you have dinner!
Math with pies can be extra extra fun! (because who doesn’t like pie) If everyone eats 1/8th of a pie, how many pies do you need to serve 14 people? And if you have 8 slices of pie, and two are left over, what fraction of pie is left over to eat later?
Incorporating math into everyday activities can help strengthen a child’s conceptual understanding overall. Plus, it makes all the holiday gathering even more fun!

Happy Turkey Day- indulge in the food and laugh with joy as family and friends are in your presence!

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Math with the littles!

With halloween just passing and fall in the air- lets connect math with pumpkins!

We are going to drill a pumpkin! Of course with inspiration of Pinterest carving and decorating pumpkins this season is in full speed. From yarn, to paint, hammer and nails, and drills you can find just about any tool or material. However, drilling a pumpkin is absolutely fun and then best way to connect math.

For the littles you might not be comfortable having your child handle a drill and that is fine- You know your child’s capabilities and you should use supervision at all times.

Choosing to do this activity with your child, supervision, teaching, and guidance is an absolute must you need to do!

Things you will need:

  1. A pumpkin
  2. Drill and bit
  3. Knife for carving the top out
  4. Candle or battery powered light of your choice to put inside the pumpkin to let it glow

First, lets cut the top open.

Push your sleeves up, you’ll want to get all the guts out of the pumpkin! Here is another way you can connect math- lets count the seeds! How many did your pumpkin hold?

Yum- lets lay them out and cook them in the oven for later!

After cutting the top open, cleaning the guts you’ll want to decided on who is going to drill.

Be creative- use any pattern you want!

Start drilling away! At the end- count how many holes your child desired to do, and look at the awesome patter glow on halloween night!

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Math video games.. are good for you?

Yes- you did just read the title right. MATH VIDEO GAMES ARE HEALTHY FOR YOUR BRAIN.

Ive brought you good news, all that time you spent playing World of Warcraft might have just made you smarter! A study shown on the Stanford website just showed that playing video games just 10 minutes each day can make you better at math.

The study involved two students of third grades, one group was taught math in the standard manner. The other was given 10 minutes each day to play the game Wuzzit Trouble on school issued iPads. (I hate technology at a young age so this made me cringe)

The video game playing group demonstrated significant improvement in what the researchers call number senses including an improved ability to apply their number sense to a problem.

But wait, whoa, not so fast!  Before you pick up that controller and think that any video game is good for you, I should note that the study was based on a very PARTICULAR game.

Certainly other similar games might see a similar effect, but I suspect Pokemon does very little to improve one’s number sense. And according to people who know a lot about this sort of thing, most math video games marketed as educational tools aren’t even all that impressive.

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This study showed that it was well-timed,revised guidelines for kids and screentime, namely, that screens aren’t as bad for little brains as they initially thought.

So maybe i don’t need to worry about giving my kids i nanny screen time…. or do it?
For full-grown brains of grown-up mathematicians, the internet is highly educational addictive math games. I learned about several online games exploring geometry and dimension and how it really can be fun and educational!

So maybe we need to stop all the fuss about screen time- and let the kiddos play educational games, rather than non educational to increase brain power!

What are your thoughts?

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Lets make math, interesting!

First thing, first.. math, interesting? How can math be.. interesting? You’re thinking, Thats just not possible- you are wrong! I am about to tell you how to just exactly make the math classroom more interesting! For all ages and grades!

Most of the following things that will change about math time will take time away from your normal curriculum. You need to make a decision – do I plow through all of the topics but leave my students bored and unmotivated, or do I spend some time getting them excited about math?

LETS GET MOTIVATED ABOUT LEARNING MATH!

First, lets make it meaningful. Many math courses suffer from the following issues:

The teachers don’t know why they are teaching particular math topics, and they often don’t know what else the students are learning in other subjects.
Together, the students don’t know why they learn those math topics, either. The common question, “Why do we have to learn this?”, is a reasonable one or “When will i ever use this again?”.

Do you have a good answer, beyond “It’s in the exam” or worse, “Because it’s good for you”?
Here is a great video i have found to make this even more interesting-

So lets look at some possible ways to fix this.

Find out where the students will use each math topic you teach such as in their science class, or other topics in school. It’s great when you can use actual examples from those other subjects and let the students know that’s where they’ll use each math topic.
Help students make connections between the math topic and the “real world”. Use real world examples while teaching.

Next, Use computers to do the drudge work.

Many math courses seem to be more about calculation rather than concepts. These days, it doesn’t make sense for humans to spend hours learning how to calculate using complicated algebra because we rely so much on technology.

As we know, computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together we are powerful beyond imagination!

For the vast majority of your students, who won’t eventually become mathematicians, it’s more important they understand the concepts and which process to use when confronted with different real life problems. They then should learn how to use computer algebra system to solve such problems.

Then, lets add a creativity to the lesson!

Students have little say in what the topics are and the exact same assignments are given to everyone. We are all creative, and we all enjoy being creative, but in most school systems creativity is discouraged.. isn’t that crazy?

There are many ways we can encourage creativity in math. Technology is one avenue – get students to use creative means to describe a mathematical concept… use a video, an animation, a diagram or perhaps a concept map!

Such individualized assignments get them thinking about the bigger picture, encourages creativity, and is more likely to generate feelings of ownership than the normal mass-produced assignment.

Use your imagination, in everything!!

More examples could be, adding more interesting questions. Many times we get a worksheet, you read the problem and you do it. Ask students directly how this relays to there life! Connect it to there lives.

Another i thought would be an interesting way would be projects! Who does projects in math? Not very often. It is always a fun way to have the students engage with using there physical motors while learning about math.

Lets change math from boring- to interesting!

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Lets get hands on with math!

Look around you, math is EVERYWHERE!

This morning i was searching through Pinterest- just like every morning. And i came across a project i was SO interested in making. One question came to my mind- how BIG will i need this to be?

While making a mental picture of what i wanted this project to look like i also sketched down dimensions of how big a typical coffee table is. LOOK! I just used math. It is literally EVERYWHERE! As soon as i sketched a quick drawing, I also wrote down how many (again using math) pieces of wood i would need along with other supplies.

So I’ve decided to blog about.. hands on with math! Because we all want to make Pinterest projects we just need to brush up on our measuring skills and creating a plan.

First, Lets consider the typical dimensions you will use.

Consider that a coffee table is approximately 16 inches -to-24 inches high. 24 inches -to-48 inches long and (600 mm-to-1,200 mm) wide.

The parts we will be building are the four legs, a top and an apron.

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The first step you will need to do is get the correct wood your for your coffee table- soft wood such as pine or birch are easier to work with.

Once we have chosen the wood you will want to cut to the correct height, in this case 16-24 Inches high. LOOK, we just used math. Here we use math with measuring out the correct length we will need our four legs to be. All the same size around.

Next, you will need to measure a square dimension in the four legs so the apron will sit at an evenly way all the way around. Looking at the thickness (math!) of the wood you choose you can determine how big or small your cut will be in the legs. Again we just used math! … its everywhere.

Make sure you measure the thickness, then measure how high off the ground you want the apron to be. That is where you will apply your cut in the wood.

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Next, lets assemble the top. Pictured above, you can see the top is larger than the top. Around you will measure the top two inches longer and wider than the apron.

This is the key factor in making your table the correct way.

After cutting your top you will want to attach an “S” hook to the underneath. Connecting it to the four legs. The “S” hooks are inserted into slots cut into the apron also  by using a biscuit jointer.  Center the bottom on the table top with the table placed upside down on a flat surface. Insert the “S” hooks into the slots and attach them to the bottom of the table top using screws.

Finish your coffee table by using multiple coats of polyurethane varnish after you have sanded the table as smooth as possible using progressively finer grits of sandpaper.

Look at all the math you just used!

Measurements, the number of correct sand paper, how much varnish you will need, how many pieces of wood, you could even get creative and count how old the tree is you are using! Math is literally everywhere.

And this is exactly why when you are making a project like this, think about all the steps and mathematic equations you need to use. It’s crazy how often you really do use math!

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Look, Math!

Math is in every kitchen, on every recipe card, and at each family gathering. The mathematics of cooking and baking is often hidden but in reality a large quantity of math is used while you cook or bake. Now that fall is upon us, the temperatures are dropping and the kitchen lingers with a sweet smell of Apple Crisp.

A recipe for a delicious afternoon snack is provided- you will want to prepare your oven to 350 degrees F.

 

  • 10 cups of apples- sliced, peeled and cored
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup melted butter

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Now that all ingredients are out you will want to find yourself a 9×13 inch pan.

Placing the apples in the pan, you will want to mix in a separate bowl the white sugar, teaspoon of flour and the ground cinnamon. Sprinkling over the apples once it is mixed.

After apples have been sprinkled, you will want to pour the ½ cup water evenly over them.

Combine the oats, 1 cup of flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and the melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Stirring together and evenly distributing over the apples.

The apples will be placed in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

As the clock is ticking down and the smell slowing leaks from the oven you should realize this delicious dessert wouldn’t of been possible without the use of math! I love that my siblings and I can do a fun activity of baking but provide math within it. Baking is a great activity for everyone to learn about fractions, reducing a recipe or in our case doubling to provide enough for my whole family.

In a classroom, pictures and baking word problems can be used to have students engage but it is also great to get hands on experience teaching them physically. I always look forward to baking, paying attention to ingredient fractions, serving sizes and the math you use while doing so. Baking is a great way to teach the youngsters with hands on experience- but to enjoy a delicious snack as the outcome!

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Apple Crisp