Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Edible Math Night full of tasty solutions at Westside Elementary

Kristin Piccirilli watches her son, Anakin, 10, as he works on a math problem using chocolate graham crackers. Tables were set up throughout the Westside cafeteria with various problems that needed to be solved.

PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE | Special to the Times

Kristin Piccirilli watches her son, Anakin, 10, as he works on a math problem using chocolate graham crackers. Tables were set up throughout the Westside cafeteria with various problems that needed to be solved.

SPRING HILL — Dylan Selfors counted paper pizza slices with Pizza Hut representative Patty Paolillo. The 6-year-old Westside Elementary School first-grader was rewarded for his effort with a real pizza slice at the school's Edible Math Night, held recently in the school's cafeteria.

It was a tasty event, featuring crackers, candy, fruit, cookies and, of course, math, organized by Westside Title 1 parent educator Stacie Wharton. The students seemed very willing to work for M&M's and Skittles — counting, sorting and graphing them.

There were several tables among which students and their families circulated. Some were funded by money collected through the General Mills box tops program. Others were the donations of businesses that sent treats and representatives to work with the children.

The Timber Pines Winn-Dixie manager, Nicole Barrow, had a table with a big Make-a-Meal chart. Students were shown four items offered free with a purchase and asked to add up the savings. When they were done, they received packages of cookies. Parents got coupons.

The Pinehurst Publix sent customer service representative Kaitlin Dilluvio, who provided fruit and chocolate for weighing and estimations. Next to her table, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union service representative Kandice Sanderson was encouraging students to choose three candy pieces and add up their costs. Older students used play money to figure out the change they would get after their purchases.

Several other tables were staffed by teachers. Fourth-grade teacher Melissa Tomlinson focused on Rice Krispies treats.

"They're figuring out how to make changes to our Rice Krispies recipe," she said.

Kindergarten teacher Glenda Vasquez had students adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing chocolate graham cracker bears.

Mariana Selfors, Dylan's mother, appreciated the opportunity for her son to come to school and enjoy math.

"I think it's a very good idea," she said. "It's a fun way to learn."

Kristin Piccirilli was there with her youngest son, fourth-grader Anakin Piccirilli, 10. Anakin said math is his favorite subject. Adding snacks made it that much better. And he thought it was a good idea.

"It involves learning and spending time with your family," he said.

His mother couldn't agree more.

"It's a good activity to exercise the brain," she said. "Since he likes math, it's fun for us to be here."

Dylan said his favorite part of the event was the candy, particularly the M&M's. But, even as a first-grader, he recognized the value of the lessons.

"Because it helps you with math," he said. "Makes you learn a lot."

Edible Math Night full of tasty solutions at Westside Elementary 03/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 4:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    President Donald Trump on Monday condemned the fatal stabbing of two good Samaritans trying to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade on a Portland, Ore., light rail train.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  2. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  3. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  4. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  5. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence


    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …