A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Pizza, it must be engaging, right?

Saturday, 29 November 2014 | 0 Comments

Recently, I have been considering how to see more fruit in my classroom. As I mentioned previously, the effort factor is significant. The modern idea that students will (or should?) only engage in activities of interest to them goes against everything they will come up against in the future.

Pizza Friday
Pizza Friday | Flickr | Rowen Atkinson | CC-BY-NC

The Conversation has a piece this week, Domino’s square pizza is value for money – with the right toppings. [On MathsLinks for your future reference,]

The article compares the value of a circular pizza vs a square pizza, where the square pizza costs an extra $2.

There is merit in using this problem as an investigation with students, in the comments for the article some folks go further:

Kids respond better to mathematics teaching in real-world scenarios that are of interest to them - this exercise would be perfect! [cite]

What a fun article! This little problem should be offered to every High School!  Kids woukd [sic] love it! [cite]

Whether you're using problem solving, project based learning, whatever, students still need to work hard and exert effort. The problem or project or task we give them can help encourage that somewhat – but I think the choice of task (see the new focus on STEM at the moment) has been given far more attention than it deserves, it does not change student attitude sufficiently. That comes from somewhere else.

From my experience, for many students it will come done to wether they like a puff pastry base or not. Then as a teacher, there's this struggle to get them to over look a personal preference to see an interesting investigation.

For more pizza problems try:

What is the Pizza Theorem? (recently added by Marc) 
74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza

Posted in • ArticleI need to do this betterLesson IdeaCirclesMeasurementProblem SolvingMathsClassMathsLinks | Short URL:


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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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