In an effort to bring students and families together in a fun activity, one intermediate school literally had kids and families use their noodles to solve a problem.
At Holt Crossing Intermediate School, the challenge was to set up seating arrangements for a pretend spaghetti dinner. The activity was based on the book Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!
The book by Marilyn Burns tells the story of a family reunion planned by Mr. and Mrs. Comfort. They prepare spaghetti and meatballs, arrange the table so everyone has a seat, but the guests arrive with their own ideas about seating.
The families read the book together, and then participated in a design challenge, using math concepts to work out different seating arrangements with tiles. The worked out the seating from groups of 12 and 16, using the most and least number of tables.
After the activity, all participants enjoyed real spaghetti and a drink. They also received a copy of the book.
Holt Crossing holds two of these events each year, in the fall and spring. The event is funded using Title I money to improve the academic opportunities for disadvantaged students.
“We focus on math and literacy,” said Principal Denise Lutz. “We try to make it fun for both the students and their families. At our last event, we set up a fake crime scene and they had to use their math and literacy skills to solve the crime.”