Search form

Students Learn About Restaurants Through Math Lesson

Students Learn About Restaurants Through Math Lesson

Children learn better when concepts are applied to real life examples. A Massachusetts teacher created a simulation for students that will likely stay with them forever. 

For a fourth-grade class in Haverhill, Massachusetts, children were "wide-eyed and wondering what happened to their room" after their teacher Lee Ann Canzano transformed the classroom into an Applebee's restaurant, according to an article on

Their desks, the article said, "were covered in fabric tablecloths of various colors and designs. On top of each desk was a 'Welcome to Applebee's' sign."

"Mrs. Canzano, how did you have time to do all this?" one the children wondered aloud, the article said.

The article said that it was restaurant day, and Canzano was "bringing her students a life lesson in math." The students "calculated how much money they would need to pay for a meal at Applebee's, and how to round off the total to get an idea about whether they had enough money to pay their bill — including a tip."

"Rounding up is a little trick they can use. It's a big life skill to have," Canzano said in the article. "And tips are a new concept to most of them."

For the past week, the article said, Canzano's students have been "learning how to add and subtract decimals, including money, and talking about the importance of this skill." Cazano figured that "the children could 'go out to eat' - but do it right in their classroom."

"Each group of four to five children was given a budget of $100 to eat at Applebee's," the article said. "The groups worked to determine the best way to stay on their budget and still have enough money to leave a tip. To make things easier, Canzano projected a chart on a whiteboard showing meal prices in $10 increments and what a 20 percent tip would be for each amount."

"For every $10 you spend, look at the digit and double it to calculate a 20 percent tip," Canzano said, and "explained that for a $30 food bill, doubling the 3 results in a $6 tip."

Canzano said her students "quickly discovered that estimating is an important life skill when dealing with money."

"The students loved this activity and really saw the importance of being able to add and subtract decimals," she said. "Applebee's heard about our fun math lesson and donated a free kid's meal coupon to every student in the fourth grade."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

Latest Education News
A new analysis of federal data finds that a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families for...
After conducting a survey, elearning director Peter West shares what his students think about teachers using blended... has announced a new commitment to ensuring student privacy.
What better way to promote summer learning than to engage in STEM activities?
Check out this resource guide for teaching about the general election before it happens on November 8.