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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

 Keep your students on task before the holidays with some edible math and a cookie break during this hectic season. Have each student write out a recipe card with the following sugar cookie recipe. Have younger students write out just the ingredients. Feel free to let them omit adjectives such as "all-purpose" and "confectioner's." If you let your students decorate the cookies after baking, provide plastic knives, chocolate chips, round cinnamon candies, mini-marshmallows, coconut, frosting in various colors and sprinkles. (Make sure none of your students has allergies to any of the food items.)
 Combine these ingredients and set aside: 2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar Beat with a mixer 8 ounces (1 stick) butter Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, beating well. Then add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Divide the dough into 2 balls and refrigerate for 1 hour (optional).
 Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick, and cut with a cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass. Place on a cookie sheet so the cookies do not touch. Bake at 350º for 8 minutes or until golden (as shown in the photo below). This recipe has no eggs, since some children have egg allergies. Yield: 2 dozen cookies
 Now ask the students to double the recipe and write the new ingredient amounts on a separate index card: 4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup sugar, 2 sticks butter Ask the sutdents to write on the card how many cookies the recipe will make when doubled. (approximately 4 dozen or 48 cookies) Explain that this can be written as, "Makes 4 dozen cookies" or "Yield: 4 dozen cookies." Make a batch or two of cookie dough before class or let your students make the cookies. Provide wet wipes or have the students wash their hands thoroughly. Give each student a piece of wax paper and some dough. Let the students share rolling pins.
 You might want to provide water to drink and napkins or paper towels to keep hands and desks clean. Give each student a wet wipe to clean off his area of the table or desk when the cookies are finished. Questions about how Excel Math lessons work? Leave a comment below. New to Excel Math? Preview elementary math lessons that really work for Kindergarten through Sixth Grade on our website: www.excelmath.com. Also find math resources for teachers, parents and students plus download a sample packet for Texas, Common Core or our Standard Edition at excelmath.com.