Summer Learnin’ Part I: Fractions in the Kitchen!

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by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed.

So, the kids are out of school. NOW what do you DO with them??

How about brushing up their math skills while having a blast in the kitchen? Cooking is one of the best ways to reinforce abstract math skills like fractions, greater than/less than, counting and measuring. So, go preheat the oven and grab the kiddos. It’s time to make something tasty while doing some summer learnin’.

The first step is to involve your kids in selecting a recipe that they’re motivated to make. Let them have a choice. (Choice is the best motivator! That…and chocolate. :) Below are some great online resources for children’s recipes…followed by a great recipe for blueberry muffins, just to get your creative juices flowing.

  1. Kidshealth.org ~ Includes a recipe index for kids, including children with special dietary needs. There’s even an auditory component, so pre-readers can listen to the recipe read aloud as they cook.
  2. Disney Family Fun ~ This site lists scores of kid-friendly recipes, all with photographs!
  3. Childrensrecipes.com ~ Cute site with some really yummy recipes, including some made for the good ol’ Easy Bake oven!

Berry Tasty Muffins

Recipe adapted from Kidshealth.org

Prep time: about 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. blueberries, washed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. milk
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • nonstick cooking spray

Utensils:

  • oven (you’ll need help from your adult assistant)
  • mixing spoon
  • 2 large bowls
  • fork
  • muffin/cupcake tin
  • paper muffin/cupcake liners
  • wire rack for cooling muffins
  • measuring cups and spoons

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).

2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

3. Mix in blueberries.

4. In another bowl, break the egg and use a fork to beat it just a little bit. Then add the milk and vegetable oil, and mix.

5. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl.

6. Using a mixing spoon, mix about 25 or 30 times. Don’t mix too much! Your muffin mixture should be lumpy, not smooth.

7. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or lightly spray with nonstick spray. Spoon in the muffin mix. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way up.

8. Bake for about 20 minutes.

9. When muffins are finished baking, remove from muffin tin and cool them on a wire rack.

10. Enjoy your berry tasty muffins!

Serves: 12

Serving size: 1 muffin

Nutritional analysis (per serving):
136 calories, 3 g protein, 6 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 18 mg cholesterol, 344 mg sodium, 86 mg calcium, 0.9 mg iron
Note: Nutritional analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.

This is part one in a multi-part series on Summer Learnin’ projects to do with the kids at home!

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6 Comments

Filed under Math, Snack Time, Summer Learning, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Summer Learnin’ Part I: Fractions in the Kitchen!

  1. Jeanne Jones

    As a teacher, I love to use cooking for teaching math.

  2. susan

    We use math in the kitchen every day. We will be making the muffins for snack.

  3. Kay Wallin

    I recently did a 4th grade math lesson where I had my students (working in groups) double a recipe then determine the cost of ingredients, including which ingredients needed to be doubled. The next step involved determining the total number of cookies made by doubling the recipe and the cost per cookie. This lesson involved multiplication of whole numbers, fractions, & mixed numbers; addition of decimals; division, and measurements. At the end of the lesson, I had a large cookie cake, and I had the students ” help” me divide it into equal portions.

  4. Amanda Smith

    I am a new homeschooling mom and wanted to say thanks for the idea. My daughter loves to cook with me. I love to teach my children things using real life experiences. This is such a wonderful to teach hands on math. Again thanks.

  5. Kristin

    Kay… what a great way to bring so many math concepts together! I will definitely try this with my students next year! : )

  6. Pingback: Summer Learnin’ Part 2: Library Scavenger Hunt! « A Learning Experience