The tastiest way to learn math

Laura K. Silver

By Laura K. Silver, Special to the Jewish Light

If you’re looking for a way to make math a fun part of your kid’s daily life, let me suggest baking. Of all the ways to get fractions to make sense, this one is the easiest and by far the most delicious.

Last year, my first graders proudly announced that they wanted to make chocolate chip cookies.

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“OK,” I told them, “But if you want to make them, you’re on your own until the oven part.”

I pulled out the Nestle package and showed them where the recipe was. They checked to make sure that they had all of the ingredients and then set out on their mission.

The first ingredient was 2 1/4 cups of flour. Together they figured out that they could use 2 one-cup portions and the 1/4 cup to equal the full amount. The other parts were easy until they came to the sugar.

“3/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of brown sugar, “ my daughter read. “How are we supposed to do that?”

I showed her the 1/4 measuring cup.

“Here’s one quarter,” I told her. “Now, how would you get three quarters?” I asked.

“Fill it up three times?” she guessed.

“That will work,” I told her. I decided to save the half-cup, quarter-cup for a different day.

Soon they were making round batter balls and and licking the spoons. The cookies went into the oven, the kids were patting themselves on the back, and the math lesson was completed for the day.

When they came out, my kids proudly informed me, “These are the best cookies we’ve ever had.”

Looks like my baking days are numbered.