One of the best places to find rational numbers in the real world is in the kitchen. Many of my 7th graders tell me that they are responsible for cooking meals for the family at home. So, I like to incorporate cooking or recipes into my lessons whenever possible.
We recently discussed multiplying fractions so I thought this would be a great place to use a recipe. We had some terrific classroom discussion about how to DOUBLE a recipe. The students realized they could multiply by two but they could also just add the same number again. We practiced together some prerequisite skills of simplifying fractions and also changing improper fractions to mixed numbers.
Then, they were ready to try some on their own. I used this digital mystery picture for doubling a cupcake recipe 🧁.
They loved it and I could hear them talking about their own cooking experiences as well as their favorite types of cupcakes. In between, they were actually discussing math, especially the problems where they needed to simplify.
They enjoyed this activity a lot but I have to tell you, they need a lot more practice with fractions. They have been exposed to lots of fractions before but some students brains just aren’t ready for it in the lower grades or even now. For that reason, I plan to circle back to this topic again and again throughout the school year. I remind the students that even though two people are born on the same day they don’t usually learn to walk on the same day. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and some of us will need loads of practice with fractions.
Here are a few of other fraction activities that I use throughout the year. Maybe you can find something here that your students will enjoy also.
Please leave a comment below and let me know how you teach students about rational numbers in the real world. I would love to read your thoughts.
As always, thank you for being a teacher. 🌺