Feast Week Part 4: A Change in Plans

The first parts of our Feast Week journey can be found here, here, and here. 🙂

Do you know Murphy?  Isn’t it his law that says that anything that can go wrong will?  Well he was present on the third day of Feast Week….

By Wednesday we were supposed to be ready to get our budget proposal to Mrs. Sisul so that we could be ready to shop on Thursday.  That was the plan, but then the plans had to change.

Like I mentioned before, we had decided to make 5 yummy appetizers.  We had figured out our shopping lists and figured out how much one batch of our goodies would cost.  And then we started multiplying.   And realized we were in trouble…

We first figured out how to change our  recipes to feed 20 (before we figured it out for 85) and we noticed something:

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We were using a favorite recipe of mine (from Catherine at weelicious.com) as an example and were figuring out how much of everything we’d need to feed 20, which meant we had to multiply our numbers by 5.  It was pretty easy work since most of the ingredients were cans or whole numbers.  When we got to the olive oil we got to display our fabulous fraction knowledge to create 5/3 which we simplified to 1 2/3 cups.

Ok, so all was well until we talked about how much it would cost us.  We started sharing our numbers from the day before for single batches of each recipe.  Some were around $5, but one was close to $15 for just one small amount.  We quickly figured out that if we were going to create the amount we needed for 85 people, we’d be multiplying the original numbers by 40! That suddenly sounded really expensive…

We went back to our tribes and revisited our numbers.  After adding together the total amounts for all five appetizers, to feed all of us we were going to be spending over $500! Obviously that was not going to work.  Mrs. Sisul loves us and thinks 5th grade is pretty great, but we were sure she wasn’t going to help us create a meal that cost that much–with all of the other things we figured it’d be almost $2000!

Then we had to make some decisions:

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Ultimately (while it was a hard decision to make and some actually had their feelings hurt a little), we decided to go with the things that were the most cost-effective: least amount of money for the biggest amount of food.  We decided to do sausage snack wraps, which are just little pigs-in-a-blanket, because they made 48 in one batch; party pickles (pickles wrapped in ham with cream cheese inside) also made many servings for not much money; guacamole, although we decided to ditch our original recipe and just use salsa and avocados instead of making it all “from scratch”; and fruit–but we abandoned the dip that was going to go with it and picked things we found in the add that was cheap for a lot (oranges, kiwi and apples).

After we reworked our numbers with our new plan, we were PLEASED to find out that we no longer had a budget proposal of $500, but of only $97.84!  And even after whittling it down by 4/5 (fractions, nice right?), we knew we could still get our goodies for less at the store by buying store brands instead of only choosing the major brands that were in the ads.

I can’t wait to tell you about our shopping trip!  Yep, you heard me right–we went on a field trip to the grocery store.  And we lived to tell about it. 🙂

Ready for Part 5?  Check it out here.

Math Warm-Ups January 7-11, 2013

Happy New Year!  I don’t know about you, but I was able to enjoy 16 days off between 2nd quarter and now and it was FABULOUS!  What a great gift to be able to spend two whole weeks with my family!  And now I am reenergized and ready to get back into a school groove. 🙂

So you know, if you’ve been here before, that math warm-ups are part of that groove.  This week I decided to revisit some older concepts (and by old I just mean beginning of the year–to a 5th grader that’s like an eternity ago!) just to remind them that they still need to know how to do this stuff!  Thankfully, most had not forgotten.


IMG103Ok, so I guess I lied about them all being oldies-but-goodies.  This one was actually based on a problem from an end-of-unit assessment that pretty much everyone got wrong!  I really needed to reiterate the fact that it’s really important to think LOGICALLY when you’re doing math.  The answer to that problem that most people said–1/18–doesn’t make ANY sense!  How the heck do I make 1/18 of a bow?!


IMG104Again, I wanted to make sure they had a solid understanding of the difference and the connection between multiplying and dividing fractions.






IMG110This one ended up being a lot easier than I first anticipated.  I was really close to making it have the “rules” of being a fraction problem, but decided to give them a try with a less complicated one until they tackled a more difficult one.  There were promises for more of these next week where they can stretch their creative math muscles!  Can’t wait to see what they do. 🙂