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I am all about math tasks that are functional. I am also all about tasks that are engaging and motivating to students. Food and math collide in perfect harmony with these menu math activities. Students love working on these tasks because they get to talk about chicken tenders and pepsi. Teachers love working on these tasks because it prepares our kiddos for the real world all while still sneaking in some academics.

These are maybe the easiest activities to make. Grab a bunch of extra take out menus that seem to multiple around your house and laminate them. I think this makes them last longer and it’s way more durable. Create lists of items to order and have them find the items and add up the total. There are lots of ways to differentiate this task. Keep it simple with two items and make it more complex with a longer list. Add in a calculator for students that haven’t mastered higher level addition yet.

Take this to the next level by using play money and having students find the right amount of bills and coins to match the total for the selected food items. You can add in a role playing elements and have students take orders, be the cashier and make change, and even add a tip. There are so many ways to add to the complexity of this task and make it even more functional. I love that this has a literacy and social skill twist!

When you do your next community outing to a restaurant – your student will be ready! How do you target functional math skills in your classroom? 

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