Math Lessons & Menu Planning


Each snack is a series of math lessons, including interpreting a recipe and multiplying it out to make up to 10 dozen, researching the cost of the materials (and what is in season), deciding what is a reasonable price, and reflecting on the sale. For sale #4, the 4/5 students made smoothies and quickly realized that they spent way more on the organic fruit ingredients than on other snacks, so if they make them again, they will have to consider raising the price–an important lesson learned.They decided to survey the classes to see what their price tolerance would be: Would they be willing to pay $1.50 or $2 for a smoothie?

We found that only 13 students would go as high as $2; 31 would pay $1.50, and 22 would pay $1. One of the 4/5 students reported that a lot of kids wanted to pay more because they like the cause. Using that info, II asked the kids if we would break even selling smoothies for $1.50. Most realized with the math that we’d only make $46 if 31 kids bought a smoothie. We assume that the cost of fruit would remain at $56. So then I asked them what they would recommend for us to do about selling smoothies. Lots of interesting responses: One student reasoned that more children may actually buy a smoothie in spite of the survey, because we often sell more than we get in pre-orders. Several thought we should not sell smoothies. Others reminded us that smoothies were very popular. So maybe we should use less fruit, or sell smaller portions, but then kids may feel cheated since they had a larger cup for $1 the first time. Then the kids thought about selling smoothies at a different time: afternoons when parents might be around and want to buy one, too, but that might interfere with snack time in our after-school program, or on days when we have special events, like a whole school picnic or Open House.

Sale #5 was going to be scones because we have a lot of those ingredients already, but our survey found that more kids wanted to have muffins, so we decided to sell muffins this time. At the last minute, we didn’t have enough muffin tins, so we opted back for scones instead.


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