SOURCE: Marshall Cavendish Education

Paul Werth Associates

November 19, 2013 14:18 ET

Singapore Math Expert: Thanksgiving Offers Opportunity to Take the Fear Out of Fractions, Math

TARRYTOWN, NY--(Marketwired - November 19, 2013) - Americans across the country will soon undertake some of the most intense mathematics practice of the year -- preparing Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Marshall Cavendish Education, a global provider of holistic educational curricula and co-developer of the Singapore Approach, believes the holiday season is great time to work with students on fractions in a practical, hands-on way.

"Between doubling 1/3 cup of chicken broth and measuring out a 2/3 teaspoon of salt, Thanksgiving dinner preparations provide great examples for young children about how we use math in our everyday lives," said Christopher Coyne, a senior education consultant at Marshall Cavendish Education and 20-year veteran teacher and principal. "It's also an innovative, visual way to learn complex mathematics principles and learn to stay positive about math. This is the fundamental philosophy behind Singapore Math and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics."

Recipes -- for everything from pumpkin pie to gravy -- include fractions as part of the ingredient measurements. Fractions are, as one mathematic profession explained, one of the most difficult mathematic concepts for students to learn and for educators to learn how to teach.

Marshall Cavendish Education offers the following recommendations for educators and parents who want to use Thanksgiving as a practical way to help teach fractions:

  1. Have students create their own recipes for a signature Thanksgiving dish. Create a cooking experience during math class by working with students to create their own signature dish, making sure to use the accurate fractions in the recipes.
  1. Find kid-friendly Thanksgiving dinner recipes. Get an extra set of hands in the kitchen when preparing Thanksgiving Day dinner by letting children measure out the ingredients. It may be messy, but it is a perfect way to show children a practical application of what they are learning in math class, as well as a way for them to understand the importance of accurate calculations.
  1. Allow your children to "double" a recipe. Feeding a large group this year? Have your elementary school student calculate the fractions to double your famous stuffing recipe. Check their work when you measure out the ingredients. Educators can send some sample recipes home with their students before the holiday break.
  1. Play with your food. As your child enjoys his Thanksgiving feast, ask him how much of his plate is turkey versus side dishes by dividing the food into different sections. Or have your child help divide up the pumpkin pie by helping cut it into slices that will feed everyone. This will provide a visual representation of fractions that can be applied to math class and will get your family in the practice of talking through complicated math problems.

Follow Marshall Cavendish Education U.S. on social media: Facebook.com/mceducation.us and Twitter.com/mceducationus.

About Marshall Cavendish Education

Marshall Cavendish Education is a global provider of holistic education curricula that help teachers become facilitators and students to be critical thinkers. The company's products reach across the globe with materials in 11 languages being used by educators and students in more than 50 countries, including the United States. Marshall Cavendish Education is revolutionizing learning and teaching with the Singapore Approach, which teaches concepts using concrete, pictorial and abstract learning progression to anchor learning in real world, hands-on experience. For more information, visit http://mceducation.us/.

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