Thanksgiving Can be a Numbers Holiday

 

Thanksgiving Day is finally here,

A time for family and food.

The holiday when you count your blessings.

And show your gratitude.

 

A roasted turkey takes center stage,

And glazed carrots round out the meal.

So take this chance to teach your kids,

The math behind each peel.

Thanksgiving can be a numbers game – literally. Here are some fun ways to use the holiday to teach and reinforce basic math concepts.

Sorting: Make a list of typical Thanksgiving foods and ask your family “learners” to sort and group the items. Ask how they would sort them to avoid the appearance of only one “correct” way to sort:  size; color; “foods” we drink versus foods we eat; foods they love versus foods they’re forced to try; etc.

 

Temperature: Using a thermometer is an important part of making sure a turkey is thoroughly cooked. Grab a thermometer and measure the temperature of food in and out of the refrigerator. If your young family member is in the kitchen when you’re roasting the bird, let her/him – carefully – take its temperature or read the thermometer when you stick it into different sections of the turkey.  Depending on the age of the young person ask if they know whether the temperature is in degrees Fahrenheit or Centigrade and what the difference is.  Give an older learner the opportunity to convert to the other scale from the one on the temperature tool poked into the turkey.

 

Division: How many pounds does your turkey weigh, and how many people must it feed? How much turkey can each person receive? If there’s a vegetarian in the group, how does that affect turkey portions?

 

Multiplication: Mashed potatoes, yams, and carrots provide a great opportunity to practice multiplication. If each guest eats a ½ cup of mashed potatoes, how many spuds will you need? Making pumpkin pie usually requires purchasing canned pumpkin.  Estimate how many pumpkins are needed to create a small can/large can of pumpkin?  If you have an old Halloween pumpkin have them cook the pumpkin and try to figure it out.

 

Budget:  Learners in upper elementary, MS or HS could calculate the total spent on the Thanksgiving dinner and then determine the cost per person.  Go over the receipts of the items purchased directly for the Thanksgiving dinner.  Then have them search the internet for the “cost of Thanksgiving dinner in 2017” compared to prior years.  A “market basket” comparison requires keeping the types of items the same to determine the change in the cost of living.  They may have to recalculate the items purchased that are in the standard market basket in the articles located.

 

If you have other ideas, please send them to numbers@numbersalive.org.  Have a wonderful and tasty Thanksgiving!

Learn With Urns!

Grecian Urn

A beautiful artifact, this Grecian urn.

Around the amphora the patterns turn,

Made for a funeral, the art is so fine,

It showcases beautiful Grecian design.

With shapes of triangles, squares and rhombi,

Ancestor’s ashes don’t become zombies.

Archaeologists worked hard to recreate

This puzzling urn—it’s once again great.

Although the long-buried urn is quite old,

Diggers found all pieces –its artwork still bold.

The classic style is still made today,

As well as modern vessels made of clay.

A Cool Old Canal and a Modern Bridge Marvel

Corinth-Canal-SUP

Corinth Canal

Hello there – are you enjoying summer break?

I just went to Greece; it was really great!

I saw the old human-made Corinth Canal ridges

Near where the new constructed Rio-Antirrio bridge is.

 

Architects are masters of geometry;

Cable triangles like ship sails imagine moving free.

Construction was hard and took years to be right

The team pulled it off – what an awesome sight!

 

Notice the four posts in the water below,

But the hundreds of cables dominate the show.

They support the entire bridge, holding it steady.

The Olympic torch crossing celebrated being ready.

 

The Corinth Canal was built in 1881, but many people had tried to build it before, starting all the way back in the 7th century BCE. The Rio-Antirrio Bridge is the world’s longest fully-suspended bridge. The bridge opened on August 7, 2004 as the Olympic torch crossed en route to Athens to open the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.

rio-antirrio bridge

Rio Antirrio Bridge

 

Corinth Canal photo credit: http://www.supracer.com/2013-hellenic-sup-cup-corinth-canal-greece/

Rio Antirrio Bridge photo credit: Rebecca Klemm

A Mysterious Greek Box

hexagonal box greeceHey there, kids! Come, gather ’round,

Learn about things long lost in the ground.

I have lots of stories from my travels in Greece,

And pictures, too, that you’ll think are real neat.

 

In ancient Greece, the people took care

To decorate everything, and leave nothing bare

Because they loved beauty, in all of its forms.

Take this box, for example; see how well it’s adorned!

 

Look at it closely, it’s thousands years old,

Would you have known that if you hadn’t been told?

The carvings are gold, each the same as the next.

If carved by hand, after each one you’d rest!

 

 

In this hexagon box, with its six paneled sides,

I wonder what treasures were buried inside!

What’s it called, this box based on six?

It was a medicine box; the Greek word: “pyxis.”

 

It’s been through a lot – it was buried underground.

We’re very lucky that it was eventually found!

The world’s full of history and awesome sites to see.

I hope you travel soon, but ’til then, follow me!

What is Pi?

What is Pi?

Hey there kids, my name is Pi

pi

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m the irrational, never-ending number guy

You might see me written as 3.14

But, in fact, I’m really so much more

I’m the ratio of a circle’s circumference to diameter

But, please don’t define me just by that parameter

No matter the size of your circled design

I’m always the same number, you’ll find

But what IS that number?

Well, that’s hard to say

Because it goes on forever!

You’d write more every day!

I have so many digits after 3.14

You could write on for years and still get many more

You could write 3.141592653589793238

But, you’d still have more to calculate!

So, think of me more as a circular friend

Whose friendship really has no end.

 

What Are Roman Numerals?

Hey there kids – it’s number 2!

number2Have I got an interesting topic for you!

You’ve met numbers 1 through 9
Let’s learn about different ones this time!

Roman numerals are good to know
They were used to express value a long time ago

Instead of writing 1,2, 3
Try the Roman way with I, II, III – see?

Roman numerals are used today
On some clocks, in books and plays

But what’s so cool about when you use ‘em
Is how hard it is to really confuse ‘em

Let’s take a Roman numeral tour
And learn to write 1, 2, 3, and 4

I, II, III are easy to see
But, 4 is IV– how can that be?

Because 4 is one less than 5, we show
IV which is “I” less than 5 or “V,” Oh!

Roman numerals use “I” after or before
To show one less or even one more

VI is 6 and VII is 7, then
VIII is8, IX is 9 -one less than “X” (or 10!)

Roman numerals are a great way to learn
A new way of viewing numbers – now it’s your turn!

Talk to your teacher or mom or dad,
About using Roman numerals to subtract or add.

 

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