Math Every Day Winners Showcase: Dan F. Long Middle School

Welcome to the second entry in our “Math Every Day Winners Showcase.”  Today we feature a winning classroom entry from Dan F. Long Middle School in Dallas.    Ms. Warmbrodt’s 7th grade integrated Math and Technology Lab compiled a single entry surrounding their participation in the Holiday Farmer’s Market. See how these 7th graders identified important math concepts in this school event:

Math is always a part of our everyday world at Long Middle School and on December 9th, math was even more evident at the Holiday Farmers Market hosted by our school.  National Junior Honor Society members and the Integrated Math and Technology Lab students coordinated the event and students chose roles such as market manager, cashier, bake salesperson, server, sous chef, and event photographer. The Market booths included a photo booth, cooking demonstrations, free fresh produce, tasting samples and more. Paradise Produce delivered hundreds of pounds of fresh produce to distribute free to students and their families and chefs from Carrollton and Coppell volunteered to provide cooking demonstrations using fresh produce. Parents tasted samples made by the chefs and received nutritional information and recipes. This farm to school event increased awareness of the nutritional benefits of eating fresh food straight from the farm and educated students and parents on how to use produce for making tasty economical meals.  Students learned how to operate a farmers market and how to use math to prepare for and run a successful real-life event.

For the Market, the students determined how much produce $300 would buy and they calculated how many families could receive a two pound bag of produce. The food was then distributed to each family the night of the event.

The volunteer chefs provided students with their recipes in advance and the students calculated the amount of ingredients needed by multiplying by the number of expected guests by a one serving recipe. And, in preparation for the Market, students determined how much food the chefs could cook, divided that number by the attendees and determined how many sample bowls and utensils to order.  Since the chefs asked for pumpkins to be pre-cooked, students had to determine the ratio of time it would take to bake a one-pound pumpkin and apply that ratio to a ten pound pumpkin.

The bake sale gave students an opportunity to practice selling items, taking in money and giving change.  With the money they raised, the students were able to purchase a class set of earphones

Parents and students watched the chefs cooking demonstrations and tasted samples of the fresh cooked produce.  Attendees also received nutritional information that included the number of calories per tablespoon and the amount of nutrients in the samples.  Students and parents learned that cooking healthy homemade meals at home is tastier and more economical than eating and buying fast food.

The students worked alongside the chefs and learned how to prepare fresh produce, how to measure and mix ingredients and how to compile ingredients to make a tasty meal.  Students also learned how to gauge baking temperature and how tokeep ingredients at a healthy temperature.

At the Market, participants enjoyed making their own caramel corn and applesauce.  The students calculated the ratio of apples to water to make a small cup of applesauce for each participant.  They also calculated the ratio of corn kernels to marshmallows needed for each participant to make a popcorn ball.

The Holiday Farmers Market centered on service in our community and engaged students in mathematical concepts.  Students learned the importance of counting money accurately and how to give change.  They applied ratios to recipes and they understood how to increase and decrease recipes based on the number of people being served.  The students, parents and teachers saw the chefs create dishes with their recipes and learned that the price per unit of fresh produce is healthier and more economical than the price of eating out.  Math was a big part of the market as the students divided hundreds of pounds of produce amongst the participants, calculated the number of servings needed and adjusted recipes accordingly.  The event provided hands-on activities where students used their mathematical background knowledge in a real-life situation.