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Like most students I teach, my students all got taught multiplying fractions the classic way. You multiply the numerator by the numerator and the denominator by the denominator. You either learn the method or you don't (just like any other procedural method you learn in math). Many kids take to concrete methods of learning better than abstract methods, though--especially struggling learners. Using food to teach fractions, though? Brilliant.
When I came across the brownie pan method while running my usual extensive internet search for concrete teaching methods, I got really excited. Not only could I give my students something concrete and visual, but they could eat what they learned when I got through teaching it. I don't think I could come up with a better incentive for learning than that.
So whenever you want to show your students how to multiply something like ¾ x ⅔, try using brownies. The kids will eat it up!
The graphic below shows how to do it.
Have you ever used food to teach? Feel free to share in the comments!
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