• How did Halloween candy figure into an Integrated Co-Teaching Science-Math Symposium for Seventh-graders?


    Well, thanks to the brainstorming of Kimberly Pacia, Tara Felice, and Jamie Tormotto, the teachers found a way to create a co-curricular activity that combined science content (density) with math content (proportional relationships) and asked their students to compare the different sized candy bars (Twix, Snickers, Kit Kats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups)—that’s how!


    Seventh grade Science Teacher Jamie Tormotto explained the “Density and Proportional Relationships” assignment and the six stations, set up in the Middle School library, the students had been asked to complete:  

    “Two of the stations were about density. Density is the mass of an object divided by its volume and is a proportional relationship.  As the mass of an object increases, so does the volume, but the ratio will always be the same (ex 1/3 = 2 /6= 3/9).  At one station, students had been asked to find the density of three different sized candy bars and at another station, they had to figure out how the density of candy bags changed (increase in mass), yet the volume (size of the candy bags) stays the same.


    “There were also three math stations and an arts-and-crafts station. In two stations, the students worked with a Halloween recipe and doubling or tripling the recipe for a certain number of people. The recipes were leveled on difficulty. Some had more difficult numbers and some were simpler, making the recipe station accessible for students who may have needed more support in math. After they created their doubled recipe, the students created a recipe card for display. The other math station involved finding the ‘better buy.’ Information found on the Target website, indicating how much each candy bar cost, was used to compare the ounces of the candy bar to determine which size was the better buy. 


    “Lastly, there was a ‘Is It Proportional?’ Station. In this station, the students compared the cost of cupcakes to how many cupcakes they could buy. This also demonstrated ‘proportions,’ as the unit cost would be the same regardless of how many cupcakes are bought.”


    The long-range impact of this interactive activity will surely have those Middle School students looking at their favorite candy bars with a more critical eye and perhaps result in some of these students becoming more discerning consumers in the future.