Saturday, December 20, 2014

French Toast Math

The winter break is finally here!  I love the time at home with my third and fourth grader.  I want to make sure they enjoy our vacation, but do not lose academic skills (only gain new background knowledge).  I try to make our time together naturally count for multiple purposes and also challenge myself to grow in my questioning skills.

This morning I made French toast with my third grade daughter.  I haven't made the recipe for a while and I could not remember if I usually double it or make a single batch while my husband is at work.  We made a single batch and immediately the math experience started, but I was worried if I had prepared enough French toast for the three of us to share.  I turned my dilemma into an authentic reason to use mathematics.

1.  I asked my 3rd grade daughter...
      We have slices of French toast on the griddle.  All of three of us need to eat breakfast.  How many slices will each person get?

   Using mental math, my third grade daughter answered, "Mommy, we each get 3 pieces with one piece left over."  (Hooray, I thought silently to myself!)

   I replied with a stumped look, "Prove it to me."

2.  She moved the slices into a group for her brother, a group for herself, a group for mom, and a group for the remainder.  (Yes! She knows to model and represent her thinking!)

3.  I asked them, "What shall we do with the remaining piece of French toast?"

     My 4th grader immediately responded, "Divide the whole into thirds."  (Another joyous moment for me!)
     I replied, "Show me what you mean by that."
    My son used the spatula to divide the slice into 3 equal pieces.

Needless to say, the math lesson was over and we enjoyed a yummy and fair breakfast.  Happy holidays everyone!

Have you encountered "math at home"?  Please share!

Related 3rd and 4th Grade Common Core State Standards:

Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities... 

Fluently multiply and divide within 100...

Decompose a fraction into a sum of fractions with the same denominator...

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