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Brainy Apples: Math Is Real Life: February Edition
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Math Is Real Life: February Edition

I am so excited to finally get my act together and join this really cool linky hosted by MissMathDork and a few of my other blogger friends, 4mulaFun, The Teacher Studio, and Teaching to Inspire in 5th.

When I was in the classroom, I loved helping my students find math in the world around them. As soon as they realized that they would be using measurement in their lives outside of school, they were more engaged in learning because they had made a personal connection. I think this linky is a grand idea!

So I love baking. And I love baking with my kids. I love how baking opens the door to mathematical discussions. One cold morning a few weekends ago, my kiddos wanted some homemade berry muffins for breakfast. They wanted me to use my step-mom's recipe because her blueberry muffins are the best I have ever had. The problem is that her recipe only makes a half dozen muffins. Problem! There are 5 people in my family, and we all like to eat more than 1 muffin. We also like to get the same number of muffins if possible, so I had to think about how many muffins I needed to make in order for us each to get the same number…..I felt some math coming on! Factors at its finest!

I didn't have muffin clip art, so I used cupcakes…just pretend they are muffins ;) Ok, so if a half dozen is 6, then I need to figure out the lowest common factor of 6 (for the muffins) and 5 (for my family). I don't have to use the lowest common factor, but I have limited ingredients :) 

So I needed to make 5 batches so we would all have the same amount. Which works out to be 6 muffins per person, which may seem like a lot, but like to eat!

So now that I knew I needed to multiply my ingredients by 5, I was ready to begin!
All the ingredients that were while numbers were pretty easy to adjust because whole numbers are easy to multiply in your head…usually ;)
The ingredients that were fractions or mixed numbers were a bit trickier, especially for my son Dominic.
He's ready to begin!
So the ingredients that were fractions or mixed numbers were the sugar and salt. Not too many, thank goodness. Actually the amount of berries was a mixed number, too, but we just throw in as many of those as we want without measuring!

So we needed ½ teaspoon of salt. Dominic doesn't know how to multiply fractions gets (he's just in 2nd grade), so I let him scoop out 5 one-half teaspoons of salt instead. 

Which ends up being 5 servings of ½ teaspoon of salt each is 2 ½ teaspoons of salt.
Equation: 5 servings x ½ teaspoons of salt each = 2 ½ teaspoons of salt  (I like to label the integers.)

The single recipe called for ½ cup of sugar. Well, we broke our ½ measuring cup, and our daughter took our 1 cup measuring cup to measure out our cats' food , so we had to us our ¼ measuring cup. I know that 2 one-fourth cups are in 1one-half cup. So instead of using 5 one-half cups, we had to use 10 one-fourth cups. 
Lots of scooping……... 

and dumping!
I love how he put the towel on his shoulder…just like mommy!

Which ends up being 5 servings of ½ cup of sugar each is 2 ½ cups of sugar.
Equation: 5 servings x ½ cups of sugar each = 2 ½ cups of sugar  

Dominic noticed that we needed 5 each of the ½ teaspoon and ½ cups :) 

I just wanted to include this picture because he was so excited to get to use a knife to cut the butter.

Here is the berry muffin batter. We used blueberries and raspberries.
I really meant to take a picture of our final muffins, but when the timer on the oven dings, it's every man, woman, and child for themselves!

How have you used math in the real world lately?

Until next time!
**Please excuse any typos as I don't have the super power of being perfect :)

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  1. Fabulous!!! Are we allowed to have the recipe??? Lol!! Thanks for all the effort that went into this post. I think we homeschooling Mummas have a bit of an advantage when it comes to "maths is real life". Translation to "real life" is easy when maths is done at your own kitchen table - every day. Thanks again!

    1. Ha ha ha! Send me an email at and I will send it to you! :)
      I love being able to show my kids how we use math every day. It gives them an understanding that knowledge learned in school isn't "just for school." This was one of my goals when I was teaching in the classroom. Help kids realize how to apply all these "school skills" to their own lives :) Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  2. Baking is such a great use of math in the real world! I'm about to start my fractions unit with my students and baking/cooking is one thing I plan on doing with them!

    Keep Calm and Hoot On

    1. Fractions was one of my favorite math topics because of baking and cooking :) During the month of December, we would bake gingerbread cookies (they could use whatever shape they wanted: man, woman, horse, dog, cat, etc), and to integrate math with writing, I also had them write a narrative about their gingerbread cookie's adventures :)

      Also for our performance task, I told them that they were a baker and had to double, triple, or half a recipe I had given them. They loved it!

  3. I love using math with cooking! What great memories (and number sense) you are making!!! Thanks for linking up with us!!

    Mathematically yours,
    Jamie aka MissMathDork!