# The Unusual Baker

Teaching math these days not only takes a working knowledge of mathematics but, also a creative flair. Donna English, teacher at the Kennedy-Longfellow, has been working with her 5th grade students on learning fractions. To help liven up the lesson, Donna presented the problem of the unusual baker from the NCTM journal Teaching Children Mathematics (Dec 2011/Jan 2012).

The problem is about “George” a retired mathematician turned baker who bakes cakes and cuts them into unusual geometric shapes.  If a whole cake at George’s bakery costs \$10 what is the cost of each of George’s unusually shaped slices? (cakes are labeled Monday through Saturday).

Donna’s students worked hard with a partner to tackle questions like “What fraction of the whole cake is each slice?”, “How can I use what I know about Tuesday’s cake to help solve Wednesday’s cake?”, “If I know that slice is 1/8 of the whole cake how do I figure out the cost?”

The 5th grade students demonstrated varying strategies and were excited to justify their solutions. Her students are submitting their work (on the problem) in hopes of being published in a future issue of the magazine.

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