Math in the grocery aisle

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Hammett Bowen students get practical lessons

By Michel Northsea

Shoppers at the Canopy Oak Publix on State Road 200 Monday evening, Oct. 4, may have noticed some young shoppers searching the aisles.


 Those young shoppers were fourth and fifth graders from Hammett Bowen Elementary School. They were not really shopping.

They were working math problems written by their teachers but pertaining to a grocery shopping trip.

One problem for fifth graders went this way:

“Your family decided to get food for breakfast. They bought 1 pound of Oscar Mayer bacon, 1 dozen large Publix eggs, 1 loaf of Publix Cuban Bread and a ½ gallon of Publix whole milk. How much money will they spend?”

Logan Elder has a similar problem on his sheet as a fourth grader. New to the Ocala area, it was first time he and his mother, Allison Elder, had attended the Publix sponsored Math Night.

Hearing that it was “fun event” the two of them were working Logan’s worksheet together.

“It’s a good for them to see how important it is to add correctly,” said the older Elder.

Some problems were not just addition problems, though.

Try this one:

“Mrs. Smythe wants to get snacks for her class. She decided to get four Chip Ahoy chocolate cookies for each of her 25 students. How many boxes of cookies will she need to buy? How much money will she spend? (There are 20 cookies per pack.),” reads the question.

Fifth grader Reanne DeGraff has attended Math Night the last three years.

“This makes it fun and shows them how practical math is in daily life,” her father Gary DeGraff said.

According to attendance figures provided by the school, 19 percent of the fourth and fifth graders at the school attended the evening event.

Fifty-four students attended with 73 parents. Other grades in the school were invited to attend other nights.

Students participating in the event are given refreshments and a goodie bag to take home.

Once again, Lori Perkins and her family were attending Math Night. They come every year and she heaps praises on the event.

Calling the program fantastic she said, “It’s math and they don’t even realize it. They worked an entire sheet of math problems without thinking twice.”