Westridge Lower School Project-based Math, Thanksgiving Style

Westridge School’s Fourth and Fifth Grade Math Teacher Danielle Houser believes that math should be anything but rote and the project-based learning helps bring the subject to life for the most in-depth learning. When speaking with students, that translates into “I thought it would be cool to connect math with the real world,” as she said this week while introducing a Thanksgiving calculation activity to her 4th Grade class on Thursday.

Houser presented the girls with Trader Joe’s newspaper ads containing information about groceries and prices, then challenged them to plan a Thanksgiving dinner on a $120 budget. Houser began the activity with a discussion of favorite holiday dishes (pumpkin pie a resounding favorite!) and how a meal is organized and planned. Then, the class talked about the price of turkeys per pound and how to figure the amount needed depending on the number of guests. The girls began planning their meals by skimming the ads for information and circled items they wanted to include in their dinner. Then, Houser asked them to create a math table that included each item, how much it cost, and the price. The girls practiced their math skills as they decided how much they could buy of each grocery and still remain within their budget.

Westridge School, 324 Madeline Drive, Pasadena, (626) 799-1053 ext. 200 or visit www.westridge.org.



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