Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day Three...Give Thanks for Recipes

In preparation for
our big American Holiday Feast of Thanksgiving,
we'll resume Thrifty Christmas Tuesday next week.
If you have a post to share, please feel free to add it
to the Thrifty Christmas Page. :o)

If you haven't already...check out the

Trust Your Instincts, Not the Math Book People
Yesterday was a productive school day for Son#2. We studied cloud formations, Benjamin Franklin, personal pronouns, and then we arrived at Math. Why in the world do these Math books make learning something that's incredibly simple in concept so difficult? Case in point...here's the lesson plan for learning how to Multiply Fractions:  I promise it's right out of the book. I'm not making this up!

PROBLEM:  Tracy had a tray of ice cubes that was 2/3 full. She used 1/4 of the ice cubes. What part of the entire ice cube tray did she use?

To solve this problem, use the following steps:

STEP 1:  Fold a rectangular piece of paper in thirds horizontally. Open it up and then draw a line along each fold. Shade two of the horizontal sections to show 2/3, which is how much of the tray is full.

STEP 2:  Fold the paper in fourths vertically. Open it up and then draw a line along each fold. Mark off 1/4 of the shaded vertical sections, which is how much of the entire ice cube tray Tracy used. Into how many sections did you finally divide the rectangle? What part of the rectangle is marked off?

STEP 3:  Write a multiplication sentence that tells what part of the entire tray Tracy used.

Is the product of 1/4 x 2/3 less than 1? Explain what 1/4 of 2/3 means.


Needless to say, we chucked the book, and Momma gave a whack at teaching Multiplying Fractions her way. She says to Son#2, "Multiplying Fractions is so easy, you're going to wonder why you didn't learn this when you were in Kindergarten. All it takes is three steps. If you memorize the steps, you'll always be able to multiply fractions. Ready?"

Son#2 nods his head, still a little shaken from folding paper horizontally and vertically, and trying to write a math sentence from it.

STEP 1:  Multiply the top numbers, the numerators.

STEP 2:  Multiply the bottom numbers, the denominators.

STEP 3:  Simplify your answer by reducing the fraction.

Son#2 casts a dubious look my way, as if he doesn't believe multiplying fractions could really be that easy. So, we use the word problem from the example, to try it out.

1    x   2      =    1 x 2      =     2       =        1Photobucket
4         3            4 x 3            12                6

Son#2 now looks incredulous, as the lightbulb flashes above his head. He gets it. It's easy. He then says what I've been thinking the entire time we're going over this lesson. "Stupid Math Book People!"

Day 3 Recipes
This Broccoli Casserole is not what I consider a traditional Thanksgiving dish; however, my brother-in-law from Kentucky would be willing to argue that consideration. Before JuJu married the BFK (boy from Kentucky), our Thanksgiving dinner table always held Green Bean Casserole in the veggie spot. Then BFK said his family always had Broccoli Casserole. Some years we have both, some years we have just the Broccoli Casserole. Since JuJu and the BFK will be in Kentucky this year, we're serving the Broccoli Casserole in their honor. We'll miss you! And JuJu we're feeling sad for you, cause you're gonna miss out on some of Momma's turkey!



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