Friday, August 2, 2013

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You know how kids ask all the time when they're ever going to need this?

I found myself doing some very important math today that was very much similar to a couple projects I've assigned.  So next time they ask me that question I plan to share this with them...just kidding, that would be way inappropriate.  But I'll share it here since we're all adults.  Maybe I could change it a bit to share with them.

I came across a recipe on pinterest for strawberry peach sangria but it was only the amounts for one serving.

Recipe is from Joe's Crab Shack
in case you were curious

So my question was if I bought this bottle of wine, how much of the other ingredients do I need if I plan to use all of the wine?

Totally a math problem.

And the follow up question...if I make it so that I use the entire bottle, will it all fit into my pitcher? Or maybe, if I only want to make enough to fill the pitcher how much of everything should I use?

It's kinda like a totally school inappropriate 3 Act right?

So this would be my act 2 info:

Act 2
Information from the bottle

Pitcher information from here

Act 3
I've got nothing fun to share for act 3 since I didn't actually make it yet. I could take a picture later though to complete the task.

I do have my work though. Yes I did pull out a notebook and calculator fyi.  I'm cool like that.

So it will not all fit in my pitcher at once.  Especially since that 114 oz. doesn't include the Sprite and fruit.

One interesting thing that did come to mind though was the idea of unit conversions.  I needed to go from liters to ounces.  If this were a project I'd teach kids all sorts of ways to do this using ratios and proportions and make them show their work.

But I didn't do any of this.  I totally cheated.

I opened up Wolfram Alpha and typed "1.5 L to oz" and had my answer in a fraction of a second.  I'm not saying we should teach kids to "cheat" but considering the fact that so many of them walk around with pretty powerful technology in their pockets, maybe it would be more useful to teach them how to use it. Because in all honesty, if I have my phone/iPad/computer with me I'm going to take the shortcut every single time.

Just something I'm thinking about.  Thoughts? Ideas perhaps on how to make this school appropriate?


  1. This is easily made school appropriate- just change the ingredients. The kids don't need to know that it was once alcohol based. Change wine to lemonade, schnapps to peach puree, and vodka to sprite (then don't include "topping it with sprite").

    Ohh then when all the math is done, make the punch in class! Yummiest math class ever!

    1. love it! and it still sounds tasty :) tasks that justify snacks in class are totally the best ones!

  2. Loved this post! I'm a first year teacher (starting in a few weeks!) and I was joking with my husband if I started my own blog my first post would be a lesson on cocktails and proportions :)

  3. Finally math worth doing!! Sorry I am a social studies teacher so I am not really into math unless it is in graphs and charts, but I love your blog and this post is GREAT!!

  4. Now this is real world math! Totally should link up next week to "Math in Real Life" Linky Party. You can find info at

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane

  5. If there's anything that gets kids' attention, it's food. I was going to write the same suggestion as the first comment: change out the punch ingredients to things like lemonade and juice. They'll be none the wiser. You could extend this into pricing as well- how much does the drink cost per ounce or glass or pitcher?

  6. Love this Sarah! Thanks for sharing. Love the twist Kat put on it.

  7. Ah, I love the real-world math problem. I just did this the other day when my bestie and I were making sangrias and we wanted to use the whole bottle of wine. I think you could make it school appropriate by making it an non-alcoholic (think lemonade or fruit punch) drink mix or dessert recipe.

    I'm a big believer in letting kids "cheat" when appropriate. For change of units like this, I let them look up the conversion. I have never actually done a conversion by hand that I couldn't easily look up when it comes to cooking. I just think it is more important for the kids to know how to use technology in a real-world way.