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Yummy, Fun, Math with Circles!

I did this today to reward students who had put forth their best effort on our state tests.  Originally, I had just planned on bringing cookies, but we had just been studying the different parts of a circle.  Cookies being round just naturally lent themselves to be used for this spontaneous activity.  I bought some Twizzlers and told students to use those to separate the strands to use for the chord, radius, and diameter.  A spoonful of heaping icing was distributed to each child to help all of the parts stick.  Students got red hots to use for the center of the circle.  According to the common core standards, unfortunately, the parts of a circle will no longer be in the curriculum for fifth graders after I came up with this nifty activity :(.  Maybe a teacher somewhere out there that teaches middle school students or older could benefit from this in the future.  Below are pictured the circles with their Twizzler radius, diameter, and chord.  In reflection, if I were to do this over I wouldn’t have bought Twizzlers.  I would have bought those individual licorice colors that are single strands.  I saw a package at Walgreens after I had already bought the Twizzlers.  I think those would work better because they are already single strands AND I could have differentiated what I wanted students to use for each color.  For example, make your chord red, your radius blue, and your diameter yellow licorice.  If students did this, then I would really know that they could distinguish between the parts.  All in all, the students ATE THIS UP–literally!

 

A student who followed directions and separated the strands of licorice.

 

And a student who didn't quite follow directions with the Twizzler strands still stuck together, but recognized the parts of the circle nonetheless. These cookies were a little crumbly from their trip to school. Hence, the imperfect circle shape.

 

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