Friday, October 5, 2012

Elementary Activities: Personal Pizza Fractions

By: Deborah Pace Rowley
When children start learning fractions in 3rd or 4th grade, it is fun to reinforce this principle at home with some personal pan pizza fractions. All you need to do is make your usual pizza crust. Then when it is time to roll the crust out, gather the family around to each make a personal pan pizza of their own. Give each person a small circle of dough to roll out and then top with a selection of toppings. You can set out bowls of pepperoni, sausage, canadian bacon, olives, pineapple, green peppers, onions etc. as well as some pizza sauce and cheese.

Once everyone has created their masterpiece, bake the pizzas. I like to bake our pizzas at 500 degrees for about 7 to 10 minutes. It is super quick and gives them a wonderful hearth-baked taste. Now the fun begins. Give each person a card with a number on it such as 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8. This is the denominator of the fraction. This is the number of pieces that they get to cut their personal pizza into.

When all the pizzas have been cut up, give everyone a second number such as 1, 2, 3,  or 4. This is the numerator. This is how many pieces of pizza they get to have. Let each person create their fraction by putting the numerator above the denominator and then taking that number of pieces. For example if you cut your pizza into 4 pieces and you get 3 pieces of it, the fraction should read 3 over 4.

Once everyone has eaten their first fraction, return to the counter and relabel the pizzas. Now what fraction of the pizzas are left? In our example above Mom ate 3/4 of her pizza so 1/4 of Mom's pizza is left. Let the family continue to choose pieces of pizza and rename the fractions until all the pieces are gone or everyone is stuffed, whichever comes first!!

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