doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Pizza mathematics

If you don’t live around here, you probably think that pepperoni on pizza comes in the form of slices.  Make it a point to visit a Rosa’s or Naples’ pizza place to see what pizza can be like when you break away from that mindset.  Amherstburg is the home for great pizza and you can’t walk very far without finding another place.  In addition to the local entrepreneur, we also have some of the big chain restaurants as well – Dominos, Little Caesars, …

In mathematics, pizza has always been the perfect model for some geometry concepts; everyone knows what a slice is.  When schools have “Pizza Days”, you order by the slice.  There’s so much fun that can be done calculating area, ratios, size/proportion, etc.

But how about the cost of the toppings? Here’s an activity that will let you dig deeper.

Check out this link for a complete lesson dealing with calculating the cost of toppings for a Domino’s Pizza and more.

You’ll need to have Flash to experience the movie activity to set the stage but then you get into the fun of using mathematics in an applied setting.  The included examples make reference to Common Core Standards but you can clearly see Ontario’s Mathematics Expectations at every turn.

I spent about half an hour going through the activities myself and I’ll admit; I never thought so deeply about the cost of pizza and its toppings.  The reality in retail is that you either take it or leave it.  Making the decision to ultimately leave it turns the emerging mathematics thinker into an informed consumer.  When your community has options for shopping, the activity just begs for small groups and comparisons.  On the reflection tab, teachers weigh in on their experiences and thoughts.  One even blogged about it.

This activity is part of the Mathalicious website.  At present, there are 132 complete lessons for the middle to secondary school mathematics student.  All of the activities are tied to real world experiences and workable online with downloadable content.

It will definitely help to answer the question “When will we ever need to know this stuff?”


One response to “Pizza mathematics”

  1. […] Pizza mathematics | doug — off the record […]


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