## Monday, December 2, 2013

Yesterday marked the first day of December. Sounds like it's time to bring out the holiday recipes and work a little math magic.

Here are some fun cookies in various holiday shapes that your students can decorate while doing some holiday math. For the Santas, you can use any sugar cookie recipe you have on hand. Make the cookies into round shapes and bake. (Slice and bake refrigerator cookies work well, too.)

Let the cookies cool, then frost half of each cookie with red frosting and the other half with white. Add coconut to cover the white frosting, if you wish.

Use chocolate chips for eyes, placed just at the top of  the white frosting. Add a red cinnamon candy for a small mouth in the middle of the coconut. A mini marshmallow becomes the pom-pom on Santa's hat.

Give each of your students a Santa or gingerbread boy cookie and let the students decorate the cookies with frosting. Then they can add chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, cinnamon candies, small gumdrops, and other colorful decorations. While they decorate the cookies, give them the following word problem:

Sandi is decorating gingerbread boy cookies. For each cookie she uses two chocolate chips for eyes, one cinnamon candy for a mouth, and three small gumdrops for buttons. If Sandi makes 2 dozen cookies, how many gumdrops will she need? (72) How many chocolate chips? (48) How many cinnamon candies? (24)

Have volunteers show their solutions on the board. Talk about various ways to solve the problems. For example, you could solve for cinnamon candies first, since that's the smallest number and then multiply that number by 2 for chocolate chips and by 3 for gumdrops. Or, once you have the number of chocolate chips and cinnamon candies needed, you could simply add those two numbers together to find the total number of gumdrops needed.

Provide plastic snack bags if your students will take their cookies home. Or provide napkins and water if they will eat the cookies in class. (Make sure no one is allergic to the ingredients.)

If you have the time and equipment available, let your students make a variety of cookies or pies to share with a local senior center, soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

Bring in one of your favorite holiday recipes and have your students double or triple it. Then have them create a shopping list and price each ingredient. After the students calculate the cost to make the recipe, ask them to find the unit cost. For example, if the ingredients for 4 dozen cookies cost \$9.50, what would be the cost per cookie? (40¢)

If they hold a bake sale and sell all 4 dozen cookies, what will they need to charge per cookie to make a profit of \$10.00? What will they need to charge per dozen cookies? Could they make 8 dozen cookies with the ingredients they purchased? What would be the cost per cookie if they make 8 dozen cookies? (20¢) What would they need to charge per cookie to make \$10.00 in profit?

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