Monday, October 24, 2011

Gr. 7/8 Math- Cooking with Fractions


Gr. 7/8 Math- Cooking with Fractions

Your last party, where you served apple crisp, was such as success that your friends have been hounding you to host another party.  You’re happy to do so, but now you feel a little stressed since you are pressured to do something even better than the first party.  You decide to go out and buy your first cook book and you start flipping through the pages.  After a lot of contemplating, you decide on the 2 recipes below.  The only problem is that you have invited 12 guests and the recipes make either 6 muffins or 50 cookies.  You decide you only want each guest to have 1 muffin and 2 cookies since you don’t want them to overstay their welcome.  Which of the 2 recipes do you have to ½? Double? Explain.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Makes 6 muffins
1.    In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2.    Mash bananas in small bowl with fork

3.    Beat eggs; blend in buttermilk, oil and vanilla with bananas. Pour over dry ingredients. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

4.    Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake in centre of 375°F (190°C) oven until tops are firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes; transfer to rack and let cool.
NEATLY rewrite the Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin ingredients below so the recipe will serve 12 people
Smartie Cookies
Makes 50 cookies

1 cup
250 ml
1 1/2 cup
brown sugar
375 ml
2 tsp
vanilla extract
10 ml
2 1/4 cup
all-purpose flour
550 ml
1/2 tsp
baking powder
2 ml
1/4 tsp
1 ml
1 1/2 cups
SMARTIES candies (about six 50g pkgs) 
375 ml

Step 1: In large bowl, beat softened butter and packed brown sugar until creamy.  Beat in vanilla and eggs.
Step 2: Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 3: Drop slightly rounded tablespoons about 5 cm  apart onto greased baking sheets.  Flatten cookies slightly and press 5 SMARTIES into top of each.  Bake for 8 to 9 minutes.
NEATLY rewrite the Smartie Cookies ingredients below so the recipe will serve 12 people

Conversion Table

1 cup= 250 ml
1 tablespoon= 15ml
1 teaspoon= 5 ml


Baking Groups


Again, the students did a great job!  As I told the class, there are not many grade 7/8 classes of 30 students that could pull this off.  All 32 of us, along with some teachers from other schools who were observing, were crammed in the staff room during this activity.  It could have lead to disaster, but instead was an authentic learning experience where students used their understanding of fractions in 'real life' situations.  This is extremely important for many reasons.  Below is a summary of what the students told me they took from this experience:
  • understanding  +, -, x and /  fractions is very useful in the real world
  • it's really important to use proper reading strategies when you are cooking because it's easy to make a mistake....and for your food to taste gross
  • it's important to understand units of measure because a tsp of salt is a lot different than a cup of salt
  • when cooking, it's way more effecient and quicker if you're able to model/visualize fractions compared to using a process/pencil/paper
  • when working in a group, it's important for everyone to feel valued and for the group to communicate and be organized
  • can't wait to do it again!!!
Taste-test Winners- (Thanks Mr. Waldron)

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