By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching

With the 4th of July approaching, parents have a great opportunity to reinforce Math concepts. Just enlist your children as helpers in the kitchen.  Sure, cooking might take longer with extra hands to guide, but the benefit is clear:  This is another great chance to make a difference in your child’s academic life.

I’ve already offered some ideas of how teaching baking techniques can pay off in the classroom. This week, let’s look at ways to use Math while measuring for an entire meal.  I’ve created a test your child
can tackle to help sharpen his or her Math skills.  Feel free to alter it based upon your child’s grade and understanding of Math.

Ignore the questions that aren’t applicable (for example, if you’re not serving snacks, skip numbers six and seven).  And, feel free to shorten the test.  Don’t forget that you’ll have to calculate the answers yourself so you can grade it.

A Holiday Test for your Meal-Preparing, Math-Sharpening Academic Superstar:

Setting the Table

  1.      How many items does each person need for their meal? Include any placemats, plates, bowls and every piece of silverware.
  2.      What are the total number of items on the table?
  3.      If the glass for each adult holds one and a half cups and each children’s glass holds one cup, how many cups are consumed if everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner drinks only one glass of water, juice or soda? (Bonus: How much if everyone drinks two glasses)?

Serving the Appetizers

  1.      How many total appetizers will be served?
  2.      What’s the maximum number of appetizers each guest can eat?

Tallying the Snacks

  1.      What are the total number of servings in all of the fruit, veggies, bags and boxes of snack food.  (Allocate each serving at half a cup for the fruits and veggies.  The servings of packaged snacks
    should be listed on the bag or box)?

If there’s another kind of snack that doesn’t fit in these categories, guess the serving size.

  1.      How many total calories will each guest consume if he or she eats one serving of each appetizer, fruit, veggie or snack food if each serving is 50 calories? (Google the calories per serving).

Measuring the Meal

  1.      If each serving is eight ounces or one cup, how many servings of each side dish, main course and dessert were prepared?
  2.      If the servings are evenly divided among the guests, how many servings would each guest be allocated?
  3.    If the servings are divided among the adult/teenage guests and the children guests at your Thanksgiving dinner, and the children serving is half of the adult’s, how many servings would each guest
    be allocated?

You might feel you’re being overly zealous or that this test is too hard.  But having your students think  through these problems will strengthen and accelerate their ability to reason. They’ll also improve their number sense skills tremendously.  It all reinforces what they learn in school.

I urge you to invest time in activities like this one.  Your investment will pay off for your students again and again over their academic career.  Many parents say, “I struggled with Math myself” and might not know where to get help outside of school.

Take this opportunity to bring Math learning into your holiday.  Post a picture on our Facebook page of your child taking our test while helping the big meal.  We want everyone to see how to make Math a part of everyday life.

Getting back to the test – these are tough questions.  If you need some help in figuring them out, give me a call for some tips (707-398-3474.)

Another way to ensure your child doesn’t fall behind academically is to enroll him or her in Miracle Math’s Brain-Based Math Adventure Camps, check out our summer camps webpage.  And call 707-398-3474 to enroll today (press 0 when prompted to find out what spaces are still available.  Space is limited to maintain quality.  Allow your child to stride into the classroom this fall as a true Math Genius.  We’ll make it happen.

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