Hint: Use the larger pieces of fruit first. For the last items — the five of something and the eight of something — use small items such as raisins or slices of banana.

Each snack stick, eaten plain or with a little chocolate sauce, now displays the intriguing Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 ... Of course, children should be sure to ask whoever they’re sharing the recipe with to work out the pattern first before eating.2

Sound easy? It is! Sound fun and educational? Absolutely.

Mathematics is so much more than learning by rote and applying formulas — instead, try crunching numbers and eating arithmetic! Granted, there is, obviously, a place for pencil and paper tasks; however, by pairing essential math principles with delicious and logical math recipes, children internalize valuable math lessons rather than just memorize steps. Just as critical, by cooking up math children learn to love the subject and perhaps will develop a greater tolerance for persisting when the math gets more complex later on. Finally, when children eat math, they learn that math + food = fun!

Ann McCallum is the award-winning author of several children’s books, including two math fairytales and her newest book Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds, which School Library Journal says:  “... for a homeschooler ... is a kind of godsend.” McCallum maintains a website and blog at www.AnnMcCallumBooks.comShe is blessed with a wonderful family.

Endnotes:

1. The complete activity can be found in Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds, Charlesbridge, 2011, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez.

2. Solution: Always add the previous two items to get the next term: 1 + 1 = 2; 1 + 2 = 3; 2 + 3 = 5; etc.

Copyright 2012. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse®Magazine, January 2012. Read this digital, interactive magazine free by visiting: www.TOSMagazine.com or read on your Kindle Fire or Apple and Android devices by downloading the free TOS apps.

Publication date: May 10, 2012