Mathematics in the Dining Hall by Elizabeth Jones, DeAnne Ward, Corrie Collier, Erik Crawford, and Casey Laws.

Group of Learners:

The target group of learners will be students from a 10th grade Algebra I class in Putnam County, following a standards based curriculum. Most of the students here are middle class and the demographics is split pretty evenly, with 55.6% Black, 42.5% White, 0.9% Hispanic, and 1.0% Asian. Also, there are 49.4% males, and 50.6 % females in the Putnam County School System in grades 9-12.

Relevant Issue:

The relevant issue that we chose to look at as a group was cooking, proportioning, and estimating. We realized that no matter which age (teenager or above), race, or gender you are, you will probably have to cook for yourself and / or others sometime in your life.

The problem that we chose that would demand a field study component is: If you were having people over for a party, how do you know how much food to get depending on the number of people attending? Also, if you have to cook some of the food yourself, what happens if you do not have all of the right measuring tools that the recipe calls for? We realize of course that if you have had a party in the past, that you may be able to make a better judgment of how much of a type of food to have for your friends, depending on the number of friends coming to the party. We figure that this was a question that everyone can relate to, at least sometime in his or her lives.

Assumptions of the Learning Context:

Because Putnam County does not have any students enrolled in the gifted program in grades K-12, we figured that we would have a class that was average at least. Therefore, we guessed that these students needed more of a hands-on approach to the assignments, and so we figured that this field study would be interesting and benefit the students in their mathematics learning with a topic that they could relate to.

Brief Description:

For this unit of field study, we will be visiting the Oglethorpe Dining Hall on the UGA campus. There are numerous examples of mathematics found used in the dining hall each day in order to allow the place to run smoothly, and we are here today to share some of those examples with you.

When we enter the dining hall, we are going to be given a tour of the kitchen, either by Janet Rawlings, the manager of O-House, or another one of the managers. We are then going to discuss how mathematics is used in the dining hall in many aspects of the work, using some specific examples.

Our vision is that students will be able to see that mathematics is truly found everywhere, even when they do not expect to find it being used. And therefore, mathematics is important to learn in the school setting, and it will truly help the students in every day of their lives.

Site Contact Information: (UGA FOOD SERVICES)

For our unit of field study, we kept in contact with Janet Rawlings, the manager at Oglethorpe Dining Hall, located on University Dr. next to the Oglethorpe dorms. Her phone number is: #706-542-7763.

Mathematical Lesson:

There are many mathematical topics that we are going to address while visiting the dining hall. First, the topic that we are going to discuss is proportioning, used in cutting certain sized cakes for dessert. Either one of the group members, or the manager giving us a tour will show us an example of how a large cake, such as a 7x10 cake, is cut as an example.

Then, we are going to look at the mathematics and measuring involved in making recipes, and hopefully be able to watch some food being prepared so that we can see what happens if the exact measurement tool is missing for a certain ingredient. We are going to discuss conversions between different measurements (looking at the prepared worksheet) and how employees and even students can use this idea if they are missing a certain measuring cup for instance. Here, fractions, and the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division come into play. Next, we are going to see how mathematics is used in the prediction of how much of a certain type of food is needed based on the number of students coming to eat that day, using an algebraic formula and calculations from previous days.

Finally, if time permits, we are going to discuss mathematics used in calculating the payroll, so that the workers are paid the correct wage per hour that they are on the job. Logic is also used here, so the managers can possibly check the payroll and based on the hourly wage of the employee, see that the calculations seem accurate. For the dining halls, employees are paid biweekly.

If we were to actually spend time learning about all of these topics beforehand, we would spend 1-2 days preparing for our visit. The visit would last a couple of hours one day, and then we could conclude with a 1-2 day lesson on applying some of the information that we learned to problems that may apply to some of the students. For instance, we could give them a set number of friends that would be attending a party and have them estimate how much food to get.

Assessment:

We are going to have a worksheet planned for the students to look at with the recipes about conversion factors between teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, quarts, etc. Also, we are going to have a worksheet for the students to actually complete, if time permits, where they will make some calculations about a type of food served on a particular day (using the example sheet handed out to all of the employees). We will discuss the answers to the worksheets at the end of the visit, and we will also use informal assessment by asking questions to be answered orally during our visit.

Resources:

1. Worksheet given to us by Janet Rawlings, predicting how much food is needed on a particular day.
2. Better Homes and Gardens. Pasta. Better Homes and Gardens Books: Des Moins, Iowa, 2000.
3. The Georgia Board of Education website.

Appendices

Computer Cycle

Patron Count Forecast

(History & Manager's Input)

Number of Serving to Prepare

Inventory on Hand

&

Order

Issue to Cook

Record Amount Prepared

Serve

Count Leftovers--Record

Record Servings Used

Record Patrons Served

Go Back To Beginning

 Computer Cycle Patron Count Forecast History and Manager's Input Acceptability History and Manager's Input Number of Servings to Prepare (560 servings)(70*8 pans) Inventory at Hand & Additional Supplies Order Issue to Cooks (follow recipe-prepare food) Record amount prepared Serve Count leftovers-Record Record servings used Record patrons served Actual Acceptability Brownies 100 Patrons       50%     500 servings     2 boxes   1 case   1 case     8 boxes     560 brownies   100 brownies   460 servings   900 patrons     51%

 Computer Cycle     Patron Count Forecast History and Manager's Input Acceptability History and Manager's Input Number of Servings to Prepare (560 servings)(70*8 pans) Inventory at Hand & Additional Supplies Order Issue to Cooks (follow recipe-prepare food) Record amount prepared Serve Count leftovers-Record Record servings used Record patrons served Actual Acceptability Hamburgers Fried Chicken Beef Fajitas 1000     5                     1 case     50               20   900 Liver, Spicy Cod   1000     20% servings                   4 cases     200               10   900

1. If given a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of milk and all that you have to measure with are teaspoons. How many teaspoons will it take to acquire 1/2 cup of milk?
2. If a recipe asks for 230 grams of flour, how many cups is this equivalent to?
3. When asked to prepare a double recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of sugar, how many tablespoons of sugar will you need?
4. If you are expecting 100 guests at a party and at the last party, approximately 82% of the guests showed up and ate food. How many servings of calamari do you need to prepare?

The Department of Mathematics Education
University of Georgia