Motivating with Ice-Cream

Recently, I heard that a late night host shared a few funny tweets. One was from someone who had a dilemma. Apparently there were only 2 ice cream sandwiches left in the freezer, but there are 3 children.

Two Whole ice cream sandwiches and three kids for WordPress blog

The solution? Eat them both! Hilarious, right?

Now please understand I do get the humor, as most of us might not think of this as an option. I’m sure the taste buds of this problem solver were in heaven. As Rachel Ray says, Yummo !

However, after I enjoyed a good laugh myself, the ‘teacher in me’ had another thought:

Why not challenge the children to consider the situation themselves?

(You know, after dinner when everyone is in a good mood, and interested in a fun challenge.)

Ask them, “How would we share these two ice cream sandwiches equally between the three of us?”

Pre-K children (those between 4 and 5 years old) may not understand fractions but they CAN tell the difference between sizes when things are cut apart.

As they are thinking and planning, you could use rectangular pieces of brown construction paper to let the children cut them up (first) into “practice” equal pieces. (Like before you have melted ice cream everywhere.)

Let THEM decide how to cut the “ice-cream sandwiches apart,” and ask them to evaluate and discuss which sizes are fair to share.

If you cut up both ice cream sandwiches this way, there would be 4 pieces to divide by 3 children. Hhhmmm…..maybe they could share one with a friend?

IMG_20160716_151521_457 one ice cream sm cut in half

If you cut up both ice cream sandwiches this way, there would be 8 pieces to divide by 3 children. How many would each child be allowed to have so they would have the same amount? How would they feel about that option?

IMG_20160716_151613_075 one icecream sw cut in fourths

If you cut up both ice cream sandwiches this way, there would be 6 pieces to divide by 3 children. (Please pretend I cut them a tad better. I might have been on a sugar dip.)

Would this be a better option?

IMG_20160716_152115_576 one ice cream sw cut into thirds

If you put each fractional piece together like this, they would surely see which one is largest but the challenge is to share equally with each of the three children. And, in my experience they just might surprise you with their solutions.

Three fractions ice cream sw

As a follow up, or as an introduction, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

also illustrates the concept of sharing, by dividing.

As you offer your children these activities, may everyone’s taste buds have a blast!






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