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Helping Kids Love Math, By Eating It | News

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Helping Kids Love Math, By Eating It
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Getting kids to enjoy math is not always a piece of cake.   But a local teacher and mom is trying to change that, one bite at a time. 

Ann McCallum's new book,  "Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds" (Charlesbridge, 2011),  she serves up  a tasty way to make math fun.

Recipes such as Fibonacci Snack Sticks, Fraction Chips, and Variable Pizza Pi pair fun cooking activities with easy to understand math.

 For example, recipes are supposed to be consistent, right? That is, you just follow the steps every time and come up with something good to eat.

 Variable Pizza Pi encourages young chefs to explore in the kitchen: start with a pizza crust (the constant), and then add assorted toppings (variables). This leads to a discussion about pi, a constant value that you get when you measure circles-ie., the pizza crust.

This book appeals to young readers because it provides tangible (and delicious) examples for different math topics such as sequencing, fractions, tessellations, geometric shapes, and probability. These are not necessarily easy concepts.

 However, the recipes and accompanying math appeteasers help kids to really 'get' the idea.

McCallum explains, "When I first thought of writing a math cookbook, I was a math teacher at North Chevy Chase Elementary. So many of my students (and plenty of their parents) were math-phobic. I wanted to find a way to make math meaningful and fun-and bring families together at the same time." Serving up these recipes, she feels, just might be the best way to encourage children to love math. As School Library Journal writes: "...sometimes making an idea delicious is the best way to cement a concept in the heads of your intended audience... Bunnies. Edibles. Math. Yum."

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