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Teachers bake up a lesson plan on fractions for kids, parents

Fairplains Elementary third grader Madison Coleman and her mother Ashley Coleman measure out cooking supplies during a cooking project at Fairplains Elementary School on Friday. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

PARKERSBURG — For the past five years, third grade students at Fairplains Elementary School were taught a different way of learning fractions by participating in a cooking project which doubles as a math lesson with the students working with their parents.

On Friday, under the guidance of third grade teachers Kelsey Johnston and Jennifer Byers, students put cookie dough, butter, sugar, flour and other supplies in a mason jar so that they can bake the cookies at home with their family, only needing to add an egg or two, said Johnston.

By learning how to measure out the ingredients and using different measuring cups, the students are more likely to grasp the concept of fractions.

“We are working on fractions, so we learn about a numerator and a denominator. Eventually they have to compare them. So this way, they get to use them and say ‘Oh, one fourth is smaller than one half,'” Byers said. “So if they looked at the flour, they could see one fourth is smaller than one half. It is a good way for them to even get to use this later on in life whenever they grow up.”

Usually occurring around Valentine’s Day, Johnston said the project is fun for both the students and parents, especially with students returning to in-person learning five days a week now.

Fairplains Elementary third grade teacher Jennifer Byers gives out instructions during a cooking project at Fairplains Elementary School on Friday. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

“I think it’s fun for the parents, and for the kids, they get really excited that their parents can come into the school and actually help them with something,” Johnston said Friday. “We just got everyone back in the school and even though this wasn’t a typical normal school day, it almost felt like a normal school day. All of our kids were here today. We had a great time together and it actually felt more normal than any other day this year.”

Johnston also said the project itself is popular at Fairplains Elementary with non-third graders, getting told that they are looking forward to participating in the project when it’s their turn.

“It’s been very difficult getting the kids back in the classroom. As teachers all around the county, we want our students back in the classroom. It’s been a difficult year,” Byers said. “Just seeing them enjoy themselves at school again and being excited about something was a major difference for this year. I’m glad that we did that.”

Contact Tyler Bennett at tbennett@newsandsentinel.com

Fairplains Elementary third grader Hadlee Bolinger and her father Kyle Bolinger measure out cooking supplies during a cooking project at Fairplains Elementary School on Friday. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

Fairplains Elementary third grader Isaiah Sunday and his mother Samantha Lacey measure out cooking supplies during a cooking project at Fairplains Elementary School on Friday. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

Fairplains Elementary third grader Cory Myers and his father Chris Myers measure out cooking supplies during a cooking project at Fairplains Elementary School on Friday. (Photo by Tyler Bennett)

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