If you had the choice to pick between baking cookies or doing a math lesson, it’s likely that you’ll choose the cookies. That is understandable. Cookies are fun and delicious! However, math is a very important subject. While it might not be delicious like cookies are, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
Fractions are an important part of math. Understanding fractions is a necessary skill for everyone. Fractions are fundamental for more advanced math which you will learn either in high school or college and help you with everyday life activities. They help tell time, they help make good shopping decisions, and help people make appropriate measurements. They also help you to bake!
Fractions are best understood when accompanied by visuals such as graphs, charts, and tables. For instance, many fractions are represented by a circular graph, or a pie graph. Can you guess what is also in the shape of a circle? A cookie, of course!
Southwest LatinX encourages fun and entertaining ways of learning different subjects such as math. By baking cookies, we will combine two of life’s essential skills; making food and knowing fractions. Additionally, cooking and baking helps to understand and visualize fractions by learning about measurements such as teaspoons and cups.
Let’s begin by following this easy recipe for sugar cookies. Parents and guardians: Please be sure to accompany the children in preparing the sugar cookies. We do, however, highly encourage you to allow them to figure out the measuring and preparation requirements mostly on their own.
To make sugar cookies, you’ll need:
2 ¾ cups all-purpose floor
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups white sugar
Frosting/icing for both decorative and educational purposes. By decorating the different fractions, you can build wholes made from different fractions while identifying where the parts came from.
For example: If you decorate your 1/2 fraction in red and your 1/4 fraction in yellow, you can then put them together and see how one side of the red 1/2 fraction combines with two sides of the yellow 1/4 fraction.
The directions are as follow:
1.) Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Stir into a mixture and set aside.
2.) Using a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar into a smooth mixture. Add the egg (don’t forget to crack it first!) and the vanilla extract. Add the contents of the small bowl with those in the large bowl. Once it is all mixed together, roll small parts of the mass into balls and then flattening them into medium-sized circles. Place the circles on a cookie sheet.
3.) Using either a fork or a knife, cut the circles into the following fractions: 1/2, 1/3,1/4, 1/5, 1/6, and 1/8. Leave one circle uncut to represent a whole. The fractions should look like this:
4.) Bake inside the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies look golden brown. After removing them from the oven, let them cool for about 2 minutes.
Once they have cooled, place each cookie, or fraction, on a different piece of paper or paper plate labeled with the fraction it represents. If you choose to decorate your cookies with frosting/icing, this can help differentiate the fractions from each another.
You can now rearrange parts of each fraction to see how many ways there are to make a complete whole.
See! Who said math couldn’t be both fun and delicious?