The End of the Line…For Now

What a season, what a season. If I were in person for this blog, I’d probably applaud myself and cheer rather pathetically, as is my style.

This blog post is designed to be your one-stop shop for all of my learning project posts in case you ever need to lose a few hours to me bumbling around, trying to find math in the most interesting places. All baking related, of course. I learned a lot in the ten posts that I made during this project, and I got to eat and share a lot of yummy things, too!

My friend, my sister, and I made pies this weekend, and I instructed both of them on how to properly mix the custard-y fillings, and how to make whipped cream. And how to separate eggs, so I really did feel that I made progress in my cooking. My sister even said, while we were baking, that she thinks I have come along way because I no longer look terrified when I am baking something. So that’s a plus! Below are the blogs I made wherein I learned to bake.

 

One-Stop Shop for all Your Blogging about Cooking Needs

  1. Intro – the first thing I did was decide that I was going to bake for this project. Honestly, I mostly just wanted to eat tasty things and tell everyone it was for a class. I didn’t expect much from it other than that. I added in the mathematical knowledge on top of it, for two reasons. As I mentioned in the post, I did do a baking project with my Grade 8s (I saw all of them a week ago, it was amazing, but also sad because I missed them so much, and I wish I could just stay there, but alas, I have to Film Festival it up, yo), but also because I wanted to prove to myself that I could find math in anything, and make it tangible and worthwhile to me and to my imaginary students.
  2. Salted Caramel Cookies – in my first post, I started with cookies becuase I thought it would be easiest. But it turns out I actually learned a lot from the experiement. I learned that cookie dough thickens depending on the temperature and the amount of flour proportionally, and that caramel like, evaporates in heat. For this math lesson, I did Grade 8 proportions, based on those two learnings.
  3. Salted Caramel Cookies – Revised – this post was more for me to actually learn from my mistakes of last time, and to try something new. That is, to put more caramel in smaller balls of dough. Not a complete success, but definitely an improvement.
  4. Cheesecake Brownies – I learned that my biggest impedement to cooking is my self confidence, as evidenced by my being wayyyy too stressed about how long to bake the brownies for. I decided to then make the math lesson revolve around Grade 9 linear realtions so students could find ways to graph and understand those baking times I struggle with.
  5. Cupcakes – This was when I made so many cupcakes it was like, the worst decision, there were 60 cupcakes, send help. The learning I did here was incredibly valuable, because it helped me gain confidence in my baking skills. I had to work hard and perservere when my recipe for the fillings didn’t turn out. And I learned to trust my judgement and not be afraid to try new things. Once again, my math lesson revolved around my learning and mistakes, with it being Pre-Calc 20 linear inequalities, and working with adjusting amounts of variables in an equation to make the best baking even if the recipe asks for different numbers of cups or amounts.
  6. Cake – Super fun one where I baked with my Mom. I love my Mom, she’s great, and she was a big help in me making the cake that I always make her make me for my birthday. Not much learning here, except again, gaining that confidence with baking times. I decided that the math could fall into Workplace and Aprenticeship 20 or 30, with surface area and volume. Mostly because it facinates me that the poke cake increases it’s surface area with the holes, but decreases its volume.
  7. Cooking Videos – The week of no kitchen because my parents were doing renovations. So I watched some videos to help inspire me for weeks to come. This blog will forever be known as The Time that Sarah Decided She was going to Separate an Egg and Talked about it for Literally a Million Years before She Actually did it. I hope I capitalized appropriately there.
  8. Pie – Probably where I learned the most, to be honest. I learned about how pie filling thickens, and to trust the recipe when it tells me these things happen. I learned about how meringue is formed by egg whites, and I learned how to make every part of a recipe from scratch. This lesson was for pi day, and so I used Pre-Calculus 30 as my lesson, as I thought it would be kind of cool for students to use a pie to introduce and look at the unit circle. Not because of any actually mathematical relevance the pie would have, just because it would look cool and be fun to cut in to.
  9. Brownies – The time I lost a bet and had to blog about it, because it involved baking. The best part of this blog was that I got to take one of Carmelle’s awesome suggestions and make it – which was the best idea! The Oreos in the recipe made me think it would be cool to ask Grade 7 students how many cookies could possibly fit into the recangular shape without losing any part of the cookie. Of course, you can break the cookies and reshape them. But in my math class, we don’t waste any of that cookie, it goes on that brownie.
  10. Mousse – The be all end all of the project. I learned to separate an egg (I DID IT) and I learned how to fold in ingredients. It was a super fun part of the project, and I felt like I had actually learned a lot when I got to this point. Especially in the way of confidence, because though I thought I had failed, I just kept trying, and working at the recipe, where in January, I would have just given up and asked someone to just do it for me. So that was the biggest step of all for me. I also learned a little bit about baking and how air is useful in baking. I am still not 100% sure how mousse is made, but I do have some better ideas due to the beating of the eggs and heavy cream.

So that’s it! There’s the whole project! I hope you enjoyed being a part of the learning, and I hope  you try out some of the recipes yourselves. If you take anything away from this experience, I hope it’s what I learned the most – to be confident in yourself and just keep trying, because failure is not the worst thing.

Oh, and also, math is totally everywhere, I bet you can find it. Learning is everywhere, I bet you can find it.

 

Have a great, amazing, splendid, and worthwhile day, you are all wonderful humans, probably.

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Summary of Learning

Here it is, the glorious and completed Summary of Learning Amy and I did for ECMP 455. Like my blog posts in general, it is slightly longer than you’d expect, so don’t feel obligated to watch it.

But we couldn’t cut it down. We felt like everything in the video was what we wanted to say, and what we wanted to portray. To cut it down would mean that we would have to eliminate entire parts of the video, and we felt each piece was valid.

We made five parody videos of different types of YouTube content. Each was inspired by something that we learned in ECMP, and so, after the videos, we go on to describe what it is we learned about the topic.

Join Amy as she adventures through YouTube and encounters each of the videos! That sounds way more exciting than it is, but oh well.

These are the videos we did and why:

  1. Clickbait Video (0:23)- just to introduce the Summary of Learning. It is quite lame, don’t judge me.
  2. Let’s Play (2:42) – firstly, I wanted to play The Witness, which I’ve referenced before in my blogs and secondly, we wanted to talk about online communities, and the use of being able to connect with people all over the world.
  3. Tutorial Video (11:37) – online learning, and how as teachers, we can learn and teach on the internet, and encourage our students to learn and teach as well. Students and teachers as content consumers and creators.
  4. Taste Test (19:30) – we both learned something food based in our learning projects, and we wanted to discuss what skills we learned online.
  5. Fake News(28:09) – online literacy, and being critical of what we see on the internet, as well as what we post and the permanence of it.
  6. Social Justice (33:16) – we didn’t do a parody video because we just wanted to address how we want to talk and teach about social justice in online spaces.

That’s the whole video, I hope you enjoy if you watch it!

 

Unfortunately, during our Fake News segment, one part of the editing messed up and the text I’d placed at the beginning is now in the middle. Kind of unfortunate that something happened in between my editing and uploading it, but for the most part, the rest worked well. The Let’s Play audio is off by about a second, but two minor mistakes aren’t the end of the world.

The Yolk of an Egg is or are White

In Yorkton there is a sub who, whenever his class is lagging or he has free time, pulls out his “bag of tricks”. Which is just a bunch of laminated papers with word puzzles on them. One of which was the yolk of an egg one. He asked it to us every time. Every time. I know a lot of random word puzzles now.

But, that was unimportant. So I will move on to the blog post now.

Guys.

GUYS. guys, guys, guys guys GUYS

GUYs

Guess what? I separated an egg. I did it. I did the thing. I separated THREE whole eggs. I have a video that I will post later. But it was all very inspirational and very exciting. You should all be so proud of me, and maybe get me a medal, probably.

I made the mousse that I said I was going to make for like, five hundred million years. And it was the most difficult thing I’ve baked and I learned a lot from the experience. I am so proud of myself.

The recipe itself essentially had me do three separate things and then bring them all together.

First, I melted chocolate and cream in a bowl over how water. Which is a thing I’ve heard of but never done, so it was very exciting and just all-around thrilling.

Second, I had to whip the rest of the cream for the recipe into, like, a more solid thing. “Until stiff peaks form” as they always say in the recipes. That part was really easy because I just used an electric mixer so not that exciting.

The third thing I had to do was whisk together three egg whites. That means no yolk. That means Sarah gets to separate an egg and be successful, probably. We’ll assume successful because of the unnecessary amount of “Guys” written at the beginning of the blog.

So I separated the first egg and I took a video of it like a nice human person who is not awkward and bad at videos.

 

I would like you to know that my Mother took the video, so it is her fault it is a vertical video, do not blame me, I had no idea she was so misinformed until it had already passed, so this is what is recorded in the world of my success. A vertical video.

So the egg separation was actually not that hard. I did mess up on one egg, so I will give you the advice that if you choose to separate eggs this way, make sure that the pressure of the bottle is what draws the egg in, don’t try to unsqueeze the bottle yourself. It will lose pressure and the yolk will break. I only did that once, and after I learned not to do that, it was relatively easy!

So then all I had to do was whisk the eggs until they were also more solid and had stiff peaks, and that was easy, I’d already done that with the meringue on the coconut cream pie.

Then I had to add the cream and eggs to the melted chocolate slowly, and fold them in. Folding is not my favourite thing to do. I didn’t know how to do it before I made the mousse and I was very unsure the whole time. Basically you cut the mix in half and then scoop one part over the other and then just do it over and over until the thing is mixed.

I was not a fan, and by the time I was finished, the whole thing was kind of a light brown soup. The instructions said to make sure that I didn’t deflate the eggs or the cream, but I don’t know what that’s supposed to look like, so I just tried not to vigorously stir or something. And it was like, a liquid, so I was pretty sure I had deflated something.

Then I put the mix into bowls and stuck it in the fridge for an hour and a half. Recipe said two hours, but it was 10:30 and we had to go to bed.

I pulled them out and guess what? They were actually mousse! Like the bowls magically turned into the fluffy stuff. And I was so sure that they would not because I had deflated or whatever. But no! I did it! I made the mousse and it tasted good. So I am a baking machine who can separate eggs and fold things with the best of them!

#SoProud

Ah, so beautiful.

So I know this is where I’d usually put the math portion of the project, but instead I wanted to do my own learning. I wanted to do some research into mousse, and why it turns into bubbles like that. Apparently, those are air bubbles, but I don’t know how they showed up in my mousse when they weren’t there before.

So I did some digging and I found like, nothing. Like, it was so hard to find anything, so I encourage anyone who is feeling particularly web-search talented to find out why.

The only thing I found was on one recipe that said that the egg whites, when whisked, add the foam and air for the mousse. But like, my liquid, not refrigerated mousse was not airy, so what happened? I am very perplexed by this.

I found a ton of articles about a mousse you can make with just chocolate and water and the science behind that. But I was like, cool, I’d like to know why my deflated mousse re inflated. Maybe I am totally wrong and it was inflated(?) the whole time? Who knows? Only the mousse, and I ate that, so whoops.

I think that this, though it’s not a math lesson, shows that the world can make us inquisitive and ask questions about things that we don’t know the answer to. And we can then try to come up with an answer using the resources we have. I failed at that part. But I am hoping someone can help me. Or maybe the actual answer is really just “whisking the eggs made them fluff up because you added air and that air was transferred into the mousse”. But that’s a really boring answer. I want the real answer to involve fire or something.

A Bet Fulfilled

Okay guys, so you know how you say something and how you’re totally going to do the thing but then you never do the thing and it’s shameful?

Yeah, so I was going to make mousse this weekend. I bought all the ingredients and got it all set up and ready to go….and then I didn’t have a pot I needed to make it. Like, honestly seriously, I needed a metal pot and I didn’t have a metal pot. So no mousse for me.

 

BUT IT WILL HAPPEN NEXT WEEK, I SWEAR ON MY HUMAN LIFE

 

So instead I made the brownies that Carmelle suggested, out of the kindness of her own heart. The brownies have a bit of an inappropriate name, so I’ll link y’all to the recipe and we’ll pretend their just called Super Yum Yum Brownies. Cool? Cool.

Now, because this wasn’t the cooking I was looking for, I didn’t learn a whole lot about baking from this project. It’s all very unfortunate for me, but at least I did get something else out of it.

See, I have a friend. More of a begrudging acquaintance really. Friends are hard to make, I don’t know when that happens. I guess we’re friends? I just skyped and he said we’re friends so I guess I know now.

Anyway, we’re playing through the best game series to ever be a game series and where is the third game, I’ve been waiting for eleven years, Square, why do you do this to me?

When we play the games, I play through the whole game, and then he fights the final boss. And we make it a bet where like, if he wins he gets something, and if he loses I get something. And guess what I lost (totally because he cheated). So his stipulation if he won was that I had to make him brownies. Because my last brownies went to my EMath class and no one else got any brownies, so there.

Like I said, the brownies were super easy. First I put down some cookie dough in a pan.

Then I put Oreos on top. We thought we’d go creative and make them birthday cake Oreos, to go with the sprinkles that I mixed in to the cookie dough.

Then I just poured the brownie batter on top!

Like, literally it was super easy, but I did learn something. I learned that I am getting much better at baking things because I was way better at judging when the brownie was done, and when it was not. So I give myself like, four gold stars for that.

That was my brownie and it was pretty good! If I were to say one thing, though, I think we should have used regular Oreos because the birthday cake ones had a pretty oddly strong flavour that overpowered a lot of the other things in the brownie.

But it was well worth it, and my friend ate too many brownies and made himself sick, so who’s the real winner in the end?

 So not a real update, I apologize, but I found my metal bowls, so I will definitely actually do what I said I would next and it will be special and magical.

As for curricular connections. I think this relates to area again. I know I already did surface area and volume, but I’m just thinking area right now.

Specifically in the step with the Oreos. What is the greatest amount of Oreos one can place in that rectangle, and is it possible to cover the entire area without wasting Oreo? So like, you could make every circle into a square, but then you’re wasting a lot of cookie and that’s sad. So do the curved sides of the cookie make it impossible to fill in all the gaps, and what the most efficient way to do so?

Specific outcome is in Grade Seven:

Outcome: SS7.2 – Develop and apply formulas for determining the area of:

  • triangles
  • parallelograms
  • circles

I’m a Day Late, but Guess What I Baked (for Yesterday)!

I feel like I try too hard every week to think of a new way to start blogs when I inevitably type “so this week I” every time when I start. I chose to change that phrase into this mess today, so I’m not sure if that’s an improvement, but it’s a difference all the same.

It was Pi Day Yesterday, as probably all of you know, which is so very exciting and inspirational. So inspiring and inspirational that, when I went to think about how I had said I wanted to make mousse this week, I realized that I was missing literally the perfect opportunity for math and baking. Like, if it’s Pi Day, I think I am seriously failing as a baker if I do not make pie!!!

I was in Regina this weekend so I made my pie with the lady who is related to me in a very complex way involving ” third cousins twice removed” and things like that. She is an excellent cook and an excellent baker, so it was awesome to learn from her. We did like, everything from scratch. We made the graham cracker crust (which like I have NEVER made, I didn’t even know that was a thing people did). It wasn’t that bad, even though I second guessed myself constantly as I was pressing the crumbs and butter and sugar in to the pie plate.

The recipe itself called only for egg yolks, so we did some egg separating! I saw it happen! It was a thing! I didn’t do it myself because she does it with like, the two egg shells and the pass it between the two thing, and I don’t think I’m nearly talented enough for that. Next weekend I am going to try the pop bottle method and let you all know how that goes.

The pie filling needed to be heated and stirred until thickened, and that was also incredible, because that happens so quickly. Like, for the first ten minutes, nothing was happening and I was stirring liquid and thinking that maybe we’d done something wrong and were just going to have to eat coconut soup and call it pie. But then, over the course of like 30 seconds, suddenly it thickened and was doing the slow bubble thing.

When it was finished, I put that stuff into the pie crust, shoved it in the oven, and we went about making the meringue.

The recipe we had technically asked for a dream whip topping, but we had all these egg whites, so we whipped them up with sugar and stuff and made a meringue! I have never ever never ever never seen that done before. Ever. And I have certainly never done it myself! Let me tell you, the most exciting thing in the world is when the eggs start to like, get more frothy, and then you add sugar and like, it turns into magic and I think I’m a wizard, Harry.

Once we added the meringue on top, and ovened it for a bit, we left it outside to cool (yay Canadian winters! Good for something, I guess!)

The pie was really tasty – I am a fan of coconut, it’s a different kind of sweet that I don’t find overwhelming. So this was a great success and I learned a ton!

I learned how to make meringue, I learned how to separate eggs the ‘old fashioned’ way, I learned how to make a graham cracker crust, and I learned to trust a recipe when it says the coconut soup will thicken.

 

Now, obviously, I think that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t tie the making of pie with pi. That would be just a missed opportunity, don’t you think?

 PC30.1 – Extend understanding of angles to angles in standard position, expressed in degrees and radians.

I’d like to point out that I don’t think I would use the pie for the discovery and understanding of radians, because I think there’s some useful treaty and Indigenous content there involving basket weaving and the inherent way some First Nations’ groups use pi without calling it pi (six hands and a thumb…so I guess tau technically, but let’s not get into that debate right here right now on the use of pi and things, I would rather we were all friends and ate pie instead of debating (at this moment, I am a fan of a good old fashioned debate, but I didn’t put my debate shoes on, so I am not prepared)). So instead, I think I would use the pie to introduce the unit circle. Make students actually make the cuts and see the sizes and I don’t know, it’s not exactly inquiry or anything complex. I just think it could be fun to have students looking at a tangible model of the unit circle and to be measuring and cutting the angles out.

Not as in depth math as some of the others, but I also think that there is so much less fun had in pre-calculus, so you know what? I think we all deserve to cut up some pie once in a while!

Here are some Cooking Videos I have Discovered

So this week I went back to Yorkton again because my hometown and I have attachment issues and cannot be apart for too long. But this weekend my family decided to paint their ceiling in the kitchen, and thus I had no way of baking as I was down one kitchen.

I decided, because I am unable to cook this week, I would instead find some videos online on how to bake some things and also a video on how to actually separate an egg. Because I’m really stuck on this egg separation thing, it just sounds so fancy.

The video I found on how to separate an egg white was by this super excited man who has a YouTube channel called “Greg’s Kitchen”.

He showed how to separate an egg, and honestly, this looks like the easiest thing in the world, I can’t believe it. I looked up baking things that require you to separate an egg, so I think next weekend I’m going to make chocolate mousse or something. Because you know, I always wanted to know how to make mousse and it just so happens that it contains separated eggs, so it’s a match made in heaven!

I watched a few more of his videos and he seems to make a lot of simple, cheap, and easy to follow recipes. And if you can get past just the worst jokes ever (I can’t tell if they are cringe-y or amazing, honestly), he has some pretty decent recipes. I don’t think I would use his channel for any other cooking routines because the bad jokes just don’t do it for me, but it he did more small tutorial videos of this sort, I could see them being useful. Either way, he taught me how to separate an egg, so stay tuned to see if it is actually a viable method for me!

After that, I just started watching different YouTubers. And I have one to share that I found on my own, and one that a friend linked to me about a week ago and kind of inspired the blog post because of my lack of kitchen.

I found a channel called “How to Cake it“, and I think I may use one of her videos in a later learning project, because I thought she was super nice and genuine and her recipes are all about the artistic side of  baking, which I hadn’t even considered to be something I should also learn! Also, I lost a bet recently, and I owe a friend some baking, so this seems like a good enough project as any. Also, it’ll mean I will upgrade from “from a box” baking, and actually make my own batter.

The last videos I found are from a channel called “You Suck at Cooking”, and it’s technically a cooking channel, but there are some desserts as well. I’m not going to link to a specific video here, if you want to see any of the videos, you can check out the channel on YouTube, but there is a little bit of language, so keep that in mind. Trying to keep my blog appropriate for all readers. (Even though let’s be real, what informational value is there here?) The videos are….weird. It’s like, a robot and sometimes a human cooking food with decent instructions, but poor execution. I think it makes more sense when you actually watch it. I personally think the videos are funny, and I do think that you could learn how to make something using one of the videos because the recipes are simple.

 

But anyway, here is my super short update for this week, hopefully we’ll get back on track next week when I actually have a kitchen again. The goal is to make mousse, but we’ll see what happens!

Birthday Week 2 – Cake

Team, team, team, TEAM! I had my birthday! It was my birthday, I am the best.

I get a little bit too excited when it is wonderful birthday time. I maaaay have reminded my family it was my birthday more than ten times.

So I made my birthday cake, but I didn’t use an online resource for this week’s baking project, because this week I learned from a real live human resource – my  Mother.

How special, me and Samantha cooking a whole two cakes together. And we didn’t even fight!

The cake we made is called a “push cake” according to my Mom, which I guess basically means that you poke holes in a cake and fill them and there’s whipped cream and chocolate-y caramel-y goodness.

I did most of the actually baking, my Mom just directed me in the steps. Her first bit of advice came when I was making the cake. Cake from a box again, next time, I am going to bake some form of thing from scratch because I want to learn how to separate an egg, as this is mysterious goal #1.

She adds 1/2 a cup of milk and 1/4 cup of half and half cream to the recipe instead of the water the recipe asks for because it is more creamy and less healthy, so clearly it is much better.

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I mixed the cake. I actually used a timer this time instead of just counting in my head, so it was probably mixed better than my cupcakes. Of which I still have some. So many cupcakes, why did I do this? I made a mistake. A pretty delicious mistake, but now I have cake, too. This baking project is helping me learn my own ability to estimate how much food I need.

I also got to have the batter off the beaters, which is bad for you, don’t do it!

 

…but I totally did, it was great.

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The cakes went in the oven for about 20 minutes before we took them out, poked a ton of holes in them, and stuck em back in. This point taught me an interesting lesson. Remember with the brownies, where I was like, not sure how long to bake them and they weren’t baking and I was distressed?

One of the cakes, which was smaller, baked quite quickly. The other was hardly baked when we pulled them out to poke them with holes. The one was a little over 1/2 the size of the other, so  it was interesting to see how much the size of the cake affects how quickly it will bake. The larger cake baked for 15 minutes longer than the smaller cake, that’s a huge difference, in my opinion.

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The holes we poked were filled with dulce de leche which sounded so fancy, I was impressed. It was caramel flavoured. Which they don’t usually have, Sarah, so this is very exciting, it will taste so good.

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The cakes were put back in the oven after the dulce de leche moment.

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After they’ve been pulled out, we had to wait for them to cool, which takes so long, let me tell you. I think the worst part of baking is the waiting, I am not a fan. 0/10, would not recommend. Unless you want cupcakes and/or cake, then I guess it’s worth it.

After it was cooled, we covered the top of the cakes with cool whip, caramel sauce, and chocolate chips. And there we go! We did it!

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If anyone wants an actual recipe, I can post it as well with my best attempts at describing all the steps and ingredients!

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The cake was great, I am fond of birthday cake, and I sure sang to myself as I ate the whole thing. Cause I am great.

There is a picture of the cake, but it looks extremely ugly, so I’m not going to post it, I was not the best photographer at that moment.

 

For the math lesson I went with the inquiry approach again. I am surprised I am finding so much opportunity to bring in inquiry , I thought I would mostly include face-value, very basic word problems. But I think they are little more in-depth than that, things that I could legit see myself using, so that’s exciting.

My question would be regarding surface area and volume. Asking students the question “how does poking the holes in the cake affect both the volume and the surface area?” and then letting the students use whatever methods they’d want to measure surface ares and figure out how they could find the volume of the irregular shape. I found two outcomes directed toward surface area and volume, and both also involve units of measurement.

I think it would be cool to see what students could come up with in measuring the cake, what tools to use, what units to use, decimals, or fractions, things like that.

I’d imagine the easiest way to do both the volume and surface area would be measuring the tools used to make the holes in the cake rather than the cake itself. But we’d see if students would come up with that idea.

That’s the idea I have, I think it would help students learn to add and subtract shapes from each other, to break down irregular shapes into shapes they do understand, and to work with estimations and exacts with tangible volumes.

Outcome: WA10.5

Demonstrate using concrete and pictorial models, and symbolic representations, understanding of area of 2-D shapes and surface area of 3-D objects including units in SI and Imperial systems of measurement.

Outcome: WA20.3

Extend and apply understanding of surface area, volume, and capacity using concrete and pictorial models and symbolic representations (SI or imperial units of measurement)

 

Let me know what you think of the math, and if you’d like me to put out a recipe, I am totally down to write out an awful version of what I did to make a cake.