Math IS Real Life: October 2016 Edition – puzzling portions?

It’s the first Wednesday of October which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!! If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!

If you are linking up, please include the below picture to link back to this blog post


 A monthly REAL WORLD math blog link-up hosted by MissMathDork,


It’s operation Calorie Counting at our house recently…. not a fun topic, nor a fun process, but currently a necessary evil…

I didn’t realize I had a pet peeve with counting calories until recently, but, alas, I do.  My frustration is with companies who make poor decision in serving measurement tools.  What does that even mean, you ask?  Okay, here’s the scenario….

This weekend, we’re driving to a family event in the car.  We aren’t really near anything and we need to stop so my SIL can nurse my adorable new niece.  In the meantime, my MIL pulls out a bag of yogurt raisins for a snack.  In my head I think “check the calories” — so I do and then I see the serving measurement glaring back at me and all I can think is “who thought that was a valid measurement?!”


Seriously? We spend a great deal of time in upper elementary mathematics teaching students to use logical measurement tools.  Why is a tablespoon an appropriate measurement for yogurt raisins? Yes, I get that they are round-ish… and they aren’t large, but a tablespoon? A tablespoon is what you use for liquid, for spices, for minced garlic…. not raisins!  And, if you did want to use tablespoons, why not add a reasonable estimate next to the serving size.  (BTW, 2 tablespoons of yogurt raisins is about 8-10 raisins…)

Later, we were in the grocery store and I randomly picked up a few boxes of snacks to look at their servings.  Thankfully (for my sanity…) they all (I’m only picturing two) were measured in ounces AND they had a reference point listed in the serving.


Let’s face it, most people don’t know what 1 ounce, or 28-30 grams looks like.  THANK YOU for putting the reference point.  Also, thank you for not using tablespoons… I’m still shaking my head on that one?!  Anyone else find using a tablespoon to be a weird measurement tool for a non-liquid, non-spice, etc….? Is this one really just me?

Please… share your favorite serving size story…. or picture!!  Can’t wait to hear from you, friends!


  Don’t forget to check out the other MIRL posts below!  Check back over the next few days – more will be added!!

Categories: #mirl, computation and estimation, geometry and measurement, math is real life, and mathematical reasoning.

Leave a Reply