I used a simple brownie mix and kept it in one piece to first explain that the cake in this tin is a whole. We spoke about that it is ONE whole brownie cake.
Next, cut up the brownie cake into 20 equal sized pieces. Then discuss that 20 pieces of brownies make up one whole in this cake tin. So 20 is the denominator for our fractions in this brownie tray.
I tried my best to keep the size of each brownie the same - point out that when working with fractions each part needs to be equal.
Then to start practicing writing fractions, use some different candy to decorate the individual brownies. I used jellybeans, coins, m&m's, and monster wrapped candy.
For example in the image below:
1. Ask students how many of the brownies are decorated with M&M's?
There are 5 brownies decorated with M&M's.
2. Ask how many brownies are in total?
3. How can we show this by writing a fraction? The number decorated in m&m's is the numerator, and the total amount of brownies is the denominator.
4. If doing this with older grades, you could also further discuss simplifying the fraction as an answer.
Then continue to do the same with different types of decorations.
And then you can also do fractions for brownies without decorations.
I didn't put icing on the brownies so that I could easily change the decorations on top and keep practicing fractions as many times as needed.
Decorating some delicious treats is a fun way to help kids build an understanding of fractions. Grab a sweet differentiated fraction FREEBIE down below.
In the free download, you will receive TWO sets of the same three worksheets.
The first three are in easy mode, keeping the denominator the same as the total number for students to work with. Great for beginners.
The second set of the three worksheets, works best for students who have an understanding of equivalent fractions. The fraction rules are given in simplified form.
Find Decorating with Fractions for Free here.
You may also like these resources . . .
• Print pages 4-8 in color or choose gray scale.
• Laminate the printed pages, then cut out the individual cards (six per page).
• Make blank cards out of white/colored paper (Make the size big enough for your students to write a math word problem on). The other option is to use just regular pieces of paper if you don't have the time.
There are 30 cards in this set. Hopefully, that should be enough for at least one card per student. If you have more than 30 students, you’ll need to either make an extra set of cards OR pair students for the activity (one card per pair).
Students pick one card at random and keep their card a secret. On the blank card (or piece of paper) they must create a math word problem that will equal to the answer on the card that they have. For example, “The answer is 9 pumpkins” – They know that the math question they make must equal 9 and be about pumpkins.
Once they finish writing their word problem, they must write their name on the back and either hand back to you, place in a box or get ready to swap with another student.
Give the student made word problems (at random from a box or swapped) to other students. Each student must solve the problem given, and then find the creator of it to see if they answered correctly. Another option is to complete the questions as a class and ‘check in’ with the maker of the word problem to see if it was answered correctly by everyone.
Show them a few examples first!
Modeling how to create a math word problem is recommended before instructing students to do this independently.
Some guided questions could be:
•What must my word problem equal to?
•What math operation will I use?
•Does this equation equal to the number I need?
•What items or characters will be featured in my word problem?
•What will happen to the items or characters in my word problem?
Being Halloween themed, encourage the math word problems to carry on the theme.
Even though the numbers are low, doesn’t mean this is limited to younger students. Challenge higher grades with using division, negative numbers, or create a multi-step word problem.
I hope you and your students enjoy this Halloween Math activity. I plan to make more for future seasonal themes.
You May Also be interested in these fun Educational resources for Halloween...
This is a fun and simple way to get some spooky math thinking in during this Halloween. As in the image below, students will be creating their own Halloween word problems to match the answer given.
This is easy to set up. All I did for the above was:
Keep the top and bottom and just change the middle to a new number and Halloween theme item to keep refreshing the activity.
Here's some more examples below:
This sort of activity works well as part of a daily math morning routine or warm-up, The more students do it, the better word problems you will start to find. I love how creative the kids can get with this, and the best part is that they are thinking mathematically at the same time too!
If it is the first time you are introducing this activity to your class, modeling and guiding a few word problems first would be best. I like to think aloud by asking myself these questions:
I’ll share another way of doing this sort of activity in my next post and include a cool Halloween freebie for you too! Stay tuned!
You may also like these fun Halloween Math Mysteries. . .
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.