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Equal Parts

Understanding equal parts is easy when the class has to share a single strawberry shortcake or a crockpot of chicken soup. We talk about fractions as being fair shares. When we are dividing Jell-O worms or hot dogs for pigs in blankets we follow the rule that the child who does the cutting has to let the other child choose which half he wants. It’s amazing how equal the two halves of a brownie can be.

Numerator and Denominator

Lots of times we have to double the recipes . . . like when we made 1-2-3 cookies and when we made pudding. —Damian

People use specific names when they talk about foods. You’d never just call spaghetti sauce “that red stuff in a can.” In the same way that students appreciate this need for using the correct names for ingredients, they learn the need to be accurate when naming parts of a fraction. Early in the year I teach that the bottom number of the fraction stands for the number of parts the whole has been divided into, and the top number stands for the number of parts being described, but I quickly move to using the correct terminology. When children put pepperoni on 5⁄8 of their pizza, they understand

that the line between the numerator and the denominator represents the words “out of,” so five out of the eight pieces of pizza have pepperoni on them. Some children need many concrete examples in order to understand the relationship

between the denominator and the size of each part. Our cooking projects help my stu- dents along that continuum. By midyear almost everyone is able to “see” that if you cut a

Fraction Interaction

Research shows that the better able we are to connect subject matter, the better our students’ overall retention will be. For that reason I now often share a book related to our cooking activity. I’ve listed a few of my favorites along with the food I cook with them.

Title

The Giant Jam Sandwich Chicken Soup With Rice Blueberries for Sal

We All Scream for Ice Cream! Curious George and the Pizza Apple Fractions Gingerbread Baby

Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes Bread and Jam for Frances Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! Sam and the Tigers

(A retelling of Little Black Sambo) Thunder Cake

Cranberry Thanksgiving Chicks and Salsa

More Spaghetti I Say Too Many Pumpkins

Bringing in the New Year Jalapeño Bagels

Page 2 • Connect

Patricia Pollaco Henry Devlin

Aaron Reynolds

Rita Goldmen Gelman Linda White Grace Lin

Natasha Wing

Chocolate Cake Cranberry Bread Guacamole Spaghetti

Pumpkin Pie Fried Rice

A mixture of ethnic foods ©synergy learning • 800-769-6199 • May/June 2011 Author

John Vernon Lord Maurice Sendak Robert McCloksey Lee Wardlay

Margaret and H.A.Rey Jerry Pallotta Jan Brett

Nancy Cole

Russel Hoban Janet Stevens Julius Lester

Dish

Microwave Strawberry Jam. Chicken Soup

Blueberry Muffins

Ice Cream in a Bag (recipes on-line) English Muffin Pizza Applesauce