Baking with numbers is a great way of making your mathematics lessons practical and active. Not only would you be teaching your class the skill of cooking, you can also teach them memorable maths techniques under enjoyable and creative circumstances. Baking can be fun for all ages and the maths involved can be transferred to different difficulties to suit all year groups. You can use your freshly baked goods as part of a fun and edible resource, or use recipes that require figuring out ratios and measurements to create. TeacherBoards Community have created a list of delicious devices that can get you and your class baking by numbers.
First off, this idea from the Here Come the Girls blog is a great way of using biscuits to create ‘numicons ’. Numicons is a technique used to make numbers into objects; they help with basic maths such as number patterns and simple addition. This method is more appropriate for the younger years of learning as the difficulty level is quite low. It is essential that you make sure there are all the required health and safety requirements in place before you start baking with young children. Hands must be thoroughly washed and their needs to be extra precautions in place when it comes to putting the biscuits in the oven.
What you will need (this is enough for one set of biscuits):
- -170g Butter
- -150g Granulated Sugar
- -1 Egg
- -2 Tablespoons of Vanilla
- -281g Plain Flour
- -½ Tsp Baking Powder
- -Icing Sugar
- -Food Colouring
- -Chocolate Buttons or Smarties to decorate
You will also need to purchase or make your own numicon shapes to use as cut outs for the biscuits. Follow the instructions on the link to create your own numicon biscuits.
Make Your Own Maths Recipes
Another way of cooperating baking with maths is to create recipes that require mathematic techniques that you must follow to make a cake. On this occasion you can use different measurements and fractions in the recipe; this is an imaginative way of teaching this technique which can make it more memorable for the students. There can be a lot of group work involved in these tasks which will improve their co-dependency skills and will help students work together. You could use examples such as: 300g Flour and ½ the amount needed for flour = the amount of margarine.
Using ratios in recipes is another useful maths technique. This BBC Bitesize page has lots of different examples of ratio recipes that you can transfer into your own lesson plans. This printable sheet can also be transferred into a lesson plan. Although it is meant for number of servings at parties, you can use it as an example piece for you class to figure out their own ratios. For example: If I had 200 party guests what size cake would I need? This would mean your class would have to add up the different sizes and figure out the correct size or how many cakes you would require.
Cakes in the Classroom
Baking is a great way of teaching numeracy and you don’t have to exclude it to cakes and cookies only. Getting creative in the classroom can make those tedious maths lessons become more enjoyable for you and your class. If you’re considering using these methods as part of your lesson plan, don’t forget that you must prepare your classroom and students to make sure they are able to follow instructions properly. If you want to get involved with baking by numbers we’d love to see a photo of your numeric delights, why not send us a tweet and tag @TeacherBoards!