Math Cafe: Fun End-of-Year Math Activity

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The end of the year is a time to celebrate and to enjoy the progress made the whole year through.  With this super fun 2-Day Math Cafe Activity Lesson, you will finish on a strong note!  With the handy Parent Letter, FREE Menu worksheet: (Multiplication Menu, Addition Menu, 2-step Multiplication/Addition Menu),  Calculate Your Bill Template, and a $1 bill brought from home, students get to order their main dish, side dish, and beverage.  

Here I am with another teacher.  We put on our clever waiter disguises and are serving our students their ordered food.  We used our best French accents and did our best to make it feel like a real restaurant.  We also took their money and helped the students figure out their tips.  I would suggest having extra parent helpers to sit at a separate money table to help with this task!  

Here is the handy Parent Letter:

The Menu Worksheet (3 different kinds for differentiation): 




The Bill Worksheet: 

The video from "Math Tutor DVD" that brilliantly explains how to calculate a tip for one's restaurant bill:  

DAY 1:  

  1. Play the above short video to help students which helps students understand how to multiply to calculate their tip.  
  2. Hand out the free parent letter to be sent home.  With the parent note, you can request that each student bring a $1 to class, and encourage parents to allow their children to keep any change.  This will reward frugality and help students, for example, see the advantage of ordering water over a costly beverage.  
  3. Hand out the menu worksheet to each student. You can choose between the following: Addition/Subtraction Menu Worksheet, Multiplication Menu Worksheet, 2-Step Multiplication/Addition Menu Worksheet.  Instruct students to solve each math equation to find the totals for each menu item.
  4. Students choose their menu items by circling the symbol to the left of the item. 
  5. Students add the totals of the selected foods, while calculating the expected tip they will likely give.
  6. Remind students that they need to be careful with their budget in order to make sure they have enough for what they would like to order, and the tip that they will need to include.  
  7. Go shopping and pick up enough food to fill all your orders.  

DAY 2: 

  1. The next day, have your classroom set up like a real restaurant, and make sure to wear your serving apron and/or hat!  While you serve their food, you may want to discuss the reason servers at restaurants receive tips.  It usually has a lot to do with their small minimum wage, and the demand for good service.  Remind students that servers should get paid for how well they take care of your dining needs.  
  2. Serve the students.  It would be really fun to recruit some parents to help serve.  Consider playing some "restaurant" music, and playing the part of "enthusiastic" server.  Your students will love it!  
  3. Make sure to also set up a money station off to the side so that students can come up and pay for their food.
  4. When all students have been served, deliver their bill to their desk.  This is actually a blank template worksheet which allows students to write their totals in the allotted spaces, and gives them room to work out their total themselves.  
  5. Students complete the bill template worksheet and then walk it over to the adult helper at the money station to pay for their bill, and collect their change. 
  6. Check their work and make sure they have calculated their tip correctly.  This is where adult helpers come in super handy!  If, for some reason, a student has gone over their allotted $1 amount, you could employ them briefly to help with clean-up to "pay" for the rest of their bill!  :)  
  7. Conclude with a discussion of what the students learned.  Please share these thoughts and ideas in the comments section!