Comments on: Pie-less cultures and fraction learning?
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning/
Comments on Ask MetaFilter post Pie-less cultures and fraction learning?Sat, 25 Aug 2012 19:47:37 -0800Sat, 25 Aug 2012 19:53:26 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Question: Pie-less cultures and fraction learning?
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning
Are there cultures that don't have pie and/or how did you learn about fractions? <br /><br /> <em>(posted to food & drink as opposed to education because i'm more interested in direct answers to the pie culture question, though i'd settle for anything)</em><br>
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I'm interested in the fact that a canonical example for teaching fractions is the number of slices in a pie.<br>
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This makes me wonder if there are cultures that don't really have pie. If these cultures exist, and if/when kids learn about fractions in these cultures, what are the concrete examples they are given?<br>
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Alternately, if you learned about fractions from some non-pie example - could you share that example?post:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081Sat, 25 Aug 2012 19:47:37 -0800longpiefractionsBy: unknowncommand
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225378
We learned with apples.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225378Sat, 25 Aug 2012 19:53:26 -0800unknowncommandBy: J. Wilson
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225379
I grew up in the US and didn't learn fractions from pie. I seem to recall numbers of things -- like apples or sheep.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225379Sat, 25 Aug 2012 19:55:29 -0800J. WilsonBy: SMPA
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225394
We always talked about numbers of things - I think I figured out why people used pies (and pizzas) several years after first introduced to stuff like "what pennies and quarters are when compared to dollars" and "apples picked from this tree versus apples picked from all the trees." <br>
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Looking at pie charts still kind of confuses me, to be honest. It's not especially intuitive beyond halves and fourths.<br>
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<small>Apples seem to be a really heavily counted object, I guess.</small>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225394Sat, 25 Aug 2012 20:14:22 -0800SMPABy: DoubleLune
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225396
I also grew up in the US and didnt learn with pie. We learned with parts of things, I definitely remember apples.<br>
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As far as cultures that don't have pie... absolutely. I don't know for sure, but i cant think of any eastern cuisines at all that have pie.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225396Sat, 25 Aug 2012 20:17:26 -0800DoubleLuneBy: Stacey
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225400
No recollection of learning with pie either, in New Jersey. I was hooked on a pretty silly, primitive little computer game - Fraction Fever - and I earned money for time spent playing educational games, so I taught myself fractions that way.<br>
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As a side effect it also inadvertently taught me chromatic scales and helped me get into All-Shore Chorus years later.<br>
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We did use pies in junior high in geometry, where my teacher had a party with food and taught us to calculate areas of pies, ice cream cones, donuts, etc.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225400Sat, 25 Aug 2012 20:27:32 -0800StaceyBy: A Thousand Baited Hooks
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225413
A "pie" where I come from is a small pastry sac filled with pureed offal and tomato sauce, intended to be eaten out of hand rather than sliced. The obvious example for fractions was cake.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225413Sat, 25 Aug 2012 20:35:55 -0800A Thousand Baited HooksBy: blnkfrnk
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225421
I'm from the US, and we learned with numbers. Once we had a demo with parts of chocolate bars.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225421Sat, 25 Aug 2012 20:39:30 -0800blnkfrnkBy: FritoKAL
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225442
I'm in the US and we used oranges, pizza, measuring cups and money for examples of fractions.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225442Sat, 25 Aug 2012 20:54:53 -0800FritoKALBy: empath
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225447
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Mathematical_Papyrus">The Egyptians used beer strength.</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225447Sat, 25 Aug 2012 21:01:15 -0800empathBy: XMLicious
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225464
You might also be interested to know that the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_fraction">Egyptian notation method for fractions</a> is somewhat strange and clumsy to modern eyes.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225464Sat, 25 Aug 2012 21:26:41 -0800XMLiciousBy: shazzam!
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225480
In Singapore, we were taught about pie CHARTS. Not pies. So same thing, but we didn't use actual PIES.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225480Sat, 25 Aug 2012 22:04:12 -0800shazzam!By: mule98J
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225492
I learned by having two nephews my age as my companions and playmates. When I was about seven years old we had to figure out how to divide a quarter between us, and all we had were five nickles. It was a grim epiphany. <br>
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It got a little better after we went to a gas station, and turned the nickles into pennies. I say better, but I still have hard feelings about how it turned out. Math doesn't solve everything.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225492Sat, 25 Aug 2012 22:52:18 -0800mule98JBy: missmagenta
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225508
We have pies but for fractions is was mostly cake (no actual cake was used) and sometimes chocolate barscomment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225508Sat, 25 Aug 2012 23:27:23 -0800missmagentaBy: Decani
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225547
In 1960s UK no pies were involved in our maths until we got to pie charts. To learn fractions we used collections of objects (coins, counters, whatever) and the briefly fashionable <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisenaire_rods">Cuisenaire Rods</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225547Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:03:44 -0800DecaniBy: scruss
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225583
We had chocolate bars and cake in Scotland, since a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_pie">pie</a> is not for sharing.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225583Sun, 26 Aug 2012 04:57:02 -0800scrussBy: tilde
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225592
I've got a book from the US that references oranges instead.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225592Sun, 26 Aug 2012 05:43:06 -0800tildeBy: shelleycat
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225594
I'm still somehow surprised that everywhere doesn't use Cuisenaire rods because that's how both my husband I learnt a lot of early maths such as fractions and counting (NZ, early-mid eighties) and it just worked so well.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225594Sun, 26 Aug 2012 05:58:51 -0800shelleycatBy: thatdawnperson
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225611
So those things are called Cuisenaire rods! They were a staple in lower elementary classrooms in Ontario, Canada when I grew up, along with teaching fractions as N out of M whole items.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225611Sun, 26 Aug 2012 06:52:41 -0800thatdawnpersonBy: pla
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225615
<b>XMLicious</b> : <i>You might also be interested to know that the Egyptian notation method for fractions is somewhat strange and clumsy to modern eyes.</i><br>
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Hopefully not too far OT, but you might also find the ancient Egyptian method of <a href="http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.peasant.html">multiplying</a> (also called the "Russian peasant" method, as you'll notice at that link) and <a href="http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57574.html">dividing</a> very, very cool - Primarily because you can do almost arbitrarily large calculations in your head with ease. Basically it amounts to converting it to binary on-the-fly, for which your "multiplication table" has only one (and a half) rule(s) to remember: 1x1=1, everything else equals zero.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225615Sun, 26 Aug 2012 07:09:31 -0800plaBy: metaBugs
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3225865
Charmingly, the French don't have "pie charts" but instead have "graphique camembert".comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3225865Sun, 26 Aug 2012 12:05:39 -0800metaBugsBy: lollusc
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3226160
At my school in New Zealand in the early 1980s, we used oranges. Actual oranges that the teacher sliced in front of us. That was the first introduction to fractions. After that to work with them ourselves, we used Cuisenaire rods.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3226160Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:57:32 -0800lolluscBy: raena
http://ask.metafilter.com/223081/Pieless-cultures-and-fraction-learning#3226504
I'm almost certain we learned "m out of n" in my schools, as well. <br>
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We also used some sort of non-Cuisenaire things made of wood -- small cube (1), rod (10), flat square (100) and large cube (1000). It was kind of like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10X7n909WYY">this demonstration of a Montessori work (youtube)</a>.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2012:site.223081-3226504Mon, 27 Aug 2012 07:32:00 -0800raena