Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pizza, Math Come Together at Greenland Pines Elementary

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pizza, Math Come Together at Greenland Pines Elementary

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

In one area, they were dishing up pizza.

In another, they were serving a different version of the Italian pie - pizza fractions.

Pizza was the theme at Greenland Pines Elementary School's recent Math Festival. Teachers at the Mandarin school even wore tall white chef hats and aprons.

Parents, relatives and between 600 and 700 students streamed into the school for the annual festival, which has a different theme each year. They visited 12 booths geared toward various ages and bearing such names as "Color My Pizza," "Top the Pizza," "Cookie Fractions," "Fraction Flags," "Fractional Friends" and "Fraction Throw Down."

For example, in "Color My Pizza," students used parts of fractions to make a whole pizza. The challenge was to see who could cover theirs the quickest, said Karen Peterson, a fourth-grade teacher who cochaired the festival with fifth-grade teacher Margie Crump.

"The kids enjoy playing the games and showing their parents the types of math activities they do at school," Peterson said. "The festival promotes an understanding of numbers and sharing with the community what's going on, so parents can get an idea of things they can do with their children."

Math phobia anyone?

Crump said the goal in elementary school is to teach students they can do math, even the much-maligned word problems. The festival helps show that math can be fun, she said.

At the booths, students had the opportunity to win such prizes as candy hearts, pencils, eraser tips, mini tattoos and stickers or make items to take home.

Fourth-grader Maggie Myers said it was both educational and "really fun." She also liked having her father, Russell Myers, attend with her. She liked all the booths and enjoys math because it can be challenging.

"With a subject like math, it's nice to get the kids in an environment where their guards are down, they can look at it as fun and see their teachers outside the classroom," said Myers, adding that he moved to the area so his children could attend Greenland Pines. …

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