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The Pizza Problem

by Math Solutions Professional Learning Team, February 10th, 2017

The Pizza Problem is a great way to apply mathematical information in a real-world context. Challenge your seventh and eighth graders to apply their understanding of area and order of operations with the pricing of pizza.

When teaching a unit on the area of circles, I asked a class of seventh- and eighth-grade students to investigate the prices of different sizes of pizzas to see if the prices were related to the pizzas’ areas. Their assignment was this:

Some responses were….

Amanda wrote: Call up a pizza place & ask the size of each of their pizzas in inches, small, medium, or large. Then ask the prices. See if the prices are proportional to the areas of the pizzas. If they are not, reprice them.

Allison wrote: Call or visit a pizza place. Find out the size and price of pizzas. Then decide whether it’s mathematically sensible or not. How much would you charge?

Geoff wrote: What are the prices of a small, medium, and large pizza? Do they make mathematical sense? If so, why? If not, what should they charge?

Jennifer wrote: What we are supposed to do is to call or visit a pizza place, and find out what the price of each pizza is and what size it is. We then have to decide whether or not the prices are acceptable. If they aren’t, what would we change them to?

The students’ solutions and explanations revealed their understanding not only about the area of circles but also about other mathematical ideas.

Most of the students figured the area of each size pizza in square inches and then figured out, for each size, the cost of one square inch of pizza. In most cases, the larger pizzas were less expensive per square inch. Some students decided the pizzas were well priced; others presented alternative pricing.

Jacob, for example, concluded: The deference in price is minimal when you look at it on a small scale but if you were going to buy fifty thousand square inches of pizza for a big party you were having while you’re parents were away for the weekend then you would have to consider what size pizza would be the most economical.

Mike had a different approach to economizing. He wrote: Skimp on the toppings.

The students’ solutions and explanations revealed their understanding not only about the area of circles but also about other mathematical ideas. The students were interested in the different prices and sizes from different pizza places, and the problem was a good way to relate the mathematics they were learning to the world outside of school.

Figure 1. In her solution, Amanda discovered that the three different sizes of pizza weren’t priced in proportion to their areas, but she didn’t recommend prices.

Figure 2. After analyzing the prices, Jennifer suggested a new price for a 12-inch pizza.

Originally appeared in Marilyn Burns’s Writing in Math Class: A Resource for Grades 2–8 .

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Conn. school 'pizza' assignment using toppings as sexual 'likes' and 'dislikes' was a 'mistake: Superintendent

The assignment instructed students to list their favorite and least favorite pizza toppings 'in relation to sex'.

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One Connecticut school is under fire for handing out a "Pizza and Consent" assignment, where eighth-grade students were given a handout stating that pizza can be used as a "metaphor for sex," which instructed students to list their favorite and least favorite pizza toppings "in relation to sex."

"Here are some examples: Likes: Cheese = Kissing," the assignment states. "Dislikes: Olives = Giving Oral," stated the assignment given to eighth graders within the Enfield Public Schools.

"Now that you know this metaphor for sex, let's explore your preferences! Draw and color your favorite type of pizza. What's your favorite style of pizza? Your favorite toppings? What are your pizza no-nos? Now mirror these preferences in relation to sex!," the assignment states.

The assignment has a section for "likes" and "dislikes," where students can "mirror" their preferences for pizza toppings "in relation to sex."

VA SCHOOL DISTRICT SEEKS 'SOCIAL MEDIA LISTENING' FOR 'HATE SPEECH,’ TO DETER 'NEGATIVE ACTIONS' TOWARDS STAFF

One Connecticut school is under fire for handing out a ‘Pizza and Consent’ assignment, where eighth grade students were given a handout stating that pizza can be used as a "metaphor for sex," which instructed students to list their favorite and least favorite pizza toppings "in relation to sex." (Enfield Public Schools)

After Parents Defending Education exposed the assignment on Monday, Enfield Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Drezek said during a school board meeting on Tuesday that the assignment was sent "inadvertently" to eighth-graders, and said it was a "mistake."

"The simple truth was it was a mistake. And I know that there are some who may not believe that. I know there are some who don't necessarily maybe want that answer," Drezek said. "In this particular case, I didn't even get a chance to because the person who made the mistake jumped ahead of it before I was even notified that it had happened."

He said that the content in the assignment was "inappropriate," and said that there's no "hidden agenda."

MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL DISTRICT BACKS AWAY FROM RACIALLY SEGREGATED 'AFFINITY GROUPS' AFTER LAWSUIT

One Connecticut school is under fire for handing out a ‘Pizza and Consent’ assignment, where eighth grade students were given a handout stating that pizza can be used as a "metaphor for sex," which instructed students to list their favorite and least favorite pizza toppings "in relation to sex."

"There was no secret cabal to indoctrinate kids on something. They sent the wrong document," Drezek. And I'm not going to perpetuate this story any longer on their behalf. So that's what happened. And none of us are happy that it happened. No one feels worse that it happened and the person that did it."

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According to Parents Defending Education, the district’s Health and Physical Education Coordinator emailed parents and apologized for the error.

"The incorrect version, as opposed to the revised version of this assignment was mistakenly posted on our grade 8 curriculum page, and was inadvertently used for instruction to grade 8 Health classes. I caught the error after our curriculum revision in June, but failed to post the intended version. I own that, and apologize for the error," the coordinator reportedly said.

Adam Sabes is a writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter @asabes10.

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Pizza-Based Sex Class In Enfield Middle School Causes Outrage

Here is the complete text of the assignment, the teaching of which was said to be a mistake..

Tim Jensen , Patch Staff

ENFIELD, CT — An assignment called "Pizza & Consent" which was given to eighth-grade Family Health and Human Sexuality students at John F. Kennedy Middle School has outraged some, despite assurances from Superintendent of Schools Chris Drezek that the distribution of the assignment "was a mistake" that was immediately reported to officials by the teacher involved.

A group of concerned, and in some cases angry, residents flooded Enfield's town hall during Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting to refute Drezek's claim, and to criticize an apology he made to the teacher, who he said has been the subject of physical threats and been called a pedophile.

Here is the complete text from the 2-page assignment obtained from Parents Defending Education , a national grassroots organization which, its website states, is "working to reclaim our schools from activists promoting harmful agendas."

Find out what's happening in Enfield with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Enthusiastic It's a genuine "YES" and a strong want and desire from all involved.
Fluid It's active and collaborative and can be given or taken away at any time.
Respectful It's all about communicating, respecting boundaries, and constantly checking in.
Required It's required before and during any sexual or sensual activity!
What's pizza got to do with it?
We can use pizza as a metaphor for sex! When you order pizza with your friends, everyone checks in about each other's preferences, right? Some people might be vegan, some might be gluten-free. Others might love pineapple, while others prefer pepperoni. Some might not like pizza at all. If you're a vegetarian, but your friend is a meat-lover, sharing a pizza is going to bring up a lot of issues. You don't know who you can share pizza with unless you ask!
The same goes with sex! You have to check in with your partner(s) and ask for their preferences. Your partner(s) might be comfortable with one sexual activity, but not another. Maybe your partner(s) only want to be touched a certain way, or maybe your partner(s) prefer to use certain language. Or maybe they don't like or want sex at all. You'll never know if your wants, desires, and boundaries are compatible with theirs unless you ask.
So start a conversation! It's the only way sex (and pizza) can be comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.
Personal Pizza
Now that you know this metaphor for sex, let's explore your preferences! Draw and color your favorite type of pizza. What's your favorite style of pizza? Your favorite toppings? What are your pizza no-nos? Now mirror these preferences in relation to sex! Here are some examples: Likes: Cheese = Kissing; Dislikes: Olives = Giving oral.
Obviously, you might not be able to list all of your wants, desires, and boundaries, but hopefully you'll start feeling more comfortable about discussing them. For those of ya'll who don't like pizza or sex at all, feel free to draw out another food favorite or include non-sexual activities.

On its website, Parents Defending Education said a parent received the following email from Brie Quartin, health and physical education coordinator for the Enfield Public Schools:

"The incorrect version, as opposed to the revised version of this assignment was mistakenly posted on our grade 8 curriculum page, and was inadvertently used for instruction to grade 8 Health classes. I caught the error after our curriculum revision in June, but failed to post the intended version. I own that, and apologize for the error. The correct version of the assignment is for students to work in small groups to craft a pizza with toppings (no behaviors associated with said toppings) that would make everyone happy/comfortable using non-verbal communication only. Students are then asked to reflect and discuss how thoughts or feelings can be confusing or miscontrued [sic], if we rely on non-verbal cues/communication alone. The parallel to be taught here is that when discussing pizza topping it is important that your preferences are clearly communicated to avoid any misunderstanding. This discussion then leads into how students can identify when consent it either present or not."

Sophia Arel read the "Pizza & Consent" document during the public communication portion of Tuesday's meeting, then added, "Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Does that make you cringe? Would you like to share your sexual preferences with a roomful of people? Imagine how a 13-year-old kid would feel. It's inappropriate. Keep this garbage out of our schools and let kids be kids."

Arel then turned to Drezek and said, "And you made an apology to the teacher who 'made a mistake.' But what about an apology to the students who received the assignment? What about that? What a cowardly and weak response."

Just prior to public comments, a woman walked up to the speakers' table carrying several pizza boxes. She was escorted from the hall.

Tracy Jarvis, pastor of Enfield's New Day Church, made the most impassioned comments of all speakers, published here in their entirety.

"I know the board would choose to move from this pizza assignment at JFK, but the parents do not. I understand that it was stated that this assignment was accidentally given in its entirety and page 1 was the intentional assignment. My page 1 takeaways are, "I don't know who I can have sex with unless I ask," "I need to know my sexual partner's wants," "Do they want oral sex, where do they want to be touched, if they want to hear dirty words, do they want to do all things or just some things" and "I need to start being comfortable talking about sex for the purpose of fun." I'd like the board to tell us how this is teaching responsibility, self-control and social skills and decision-making, because that's what was spoken that this assignment was. This assignment is prompting kids to become sexually active before their time. You don't even know how to navigate platonic relationships well, so why introduce sexual relationships? 13-year-olds don't have sexual preferences; sexual preferences come with sexual maturity. So now we're to insist our kids come to the fullness of their sexuality at age 13? We should not be encouraging youth to explore each other's bodies with multiple partners in an open environment for any reason. If somebody is doing that or asking them to do that, they should be taught to tell a responsible adult, who then reports it. This assignment is normalizing and encouraging youth to be sexually promiscuous and deviant. I understand we need to teach kids boundaries, but you are giving them way more information than they are psychologically ready to handle at this age. By doing this, you open up doors for them to have partners who are older than them, increasing statutory situations. You open up doors for abusive family members and grown-ups in their lives. I understand there is a segment of society that have major traumatic sexual issues within their history. I too long to resource them. However, choosing to reform a child who was sodomized at age 11 that they can stand for themselves and choose to give oral instead is appalling. Are public schools now running programs for sexually abused children at the expense of the unviolated? Are we now hypersexualizing every youth because some are hurting? All youth need a safe haven from our overtly sexualized culture. I have poured 10 years of my life into building an environment where youth can be healthy and have healthy communities. We teach Enfield children self-respect, self-control and self-denial. I will continue to expand my energy to resource this community, and I ask that you do the same. Take a deeper look; are there more assignments that have the potential to corrupt the morals of our minors? It's really your job to know. This has gone too far, and we parents are not fed like they're intimidated to stand for what we believe in. We will fight for the purity and protection of our children."

Several other residents offered opposing viewpoints. Liz Davis denounced the proliferation of "conspiracy theories" being put forth on social media, even accusing several school board members of taking part.

"We've got the best teachers in this state; we've got the best superintendent in this state," she said. "I'm done with people disrespecting them, and I'm really done with elected officials that are behind this. Do what's right by all these kids, or step the hell down."

When reached by Patch Thursday, Drezek would not comment further on the matter.

The complete meeting may be viewed here .

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Family Health and Human Sexuality Lesson for 8th graders uses pizza to teach consent; asks students to list their sexual likes and dislikes as if they are pizza toppings and uses “kissing” and “giving oral” as examples

• Enfield Public Schools - Connecticut

Parents in Enfield, Connecticut are raising serious concerns about a recent assignment given to 8th grade students that uses pizza as a metaphor for sex and compares pizza toppings to sexual likes and dislikes. It cites “kissing” and “giving oral” as examples of pizza toppings and then asks students to list their sexual likes and dislikes and boundaries.

The assignment is entitled “Pizza & Consent” and literally says at the beginning, “we can use pizza as a metaphor for sex!”

According to parents who contacted us, the school quickly removed the assignment from their website.

Brie Quartin, the district’s Health and Physical Education Coordinator, offered this explanation and apology in an email to at least one parent who raised concerns:

The incorrect version, as opposed to the revised version of this assignment was mistakenly posted on our grade 8 curriculum page, and was inadvertently used for instruction to grade 8 Health classes. I caught the error after our curriculum revision in June, but failed to post the intended version. I own that, and apologize for the error. The correct version of the assignment is for students to work in small groups to craft a pizza with toppings (no behaviors associated with said toppings) that would make everyone happy/comfortable using non-verbal communication only. Students are then asked to reflect and discuss how thoughts or feelings can be confusing or miscontrued [sic], if we rely on non-verbal cues/communication alone. The parallel to be taught here is that when discussing pizza topping it is important that your preferences are clearly communicated to avoid any misunderstanding. This discussion then leads into how students can identify when consent it either present or not.

Another parent told us, “I’m not sure how a teacher accidentally asks for the personal sexual preferences of 8th graders without any indication it is completely inappropriate to do such a thing?”

Because parents were not allowed to attend the school board meeting in person where they would have spoken about this, they took to YouTube to respond to the board. The district cited mask compliance as the reason for the shift to zoom meetings.

Below are two of those videos:

The father in the second video talks about the pizza assignment and reads contradictory statements made by school officials. He also shares specific concerns about assignments and handouts in other classes in the district.

The pizza assignment has a part at the end that says:

For those of ya’ll who don’t like pizza or sex at all, feel free to draw out another food favorite or include non-sexual activities.

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1. Pizza Book Report Teaching Resources

Use this product to assign a fun book report project! All you need are pizza boxes. Check with your local pizza company for donations- they are usually always willing to help. This product includes a directions paper explaining each part of the project, a grading rubric, and a pizza template.

2. The Pizza Problem

When teaching a unit on the area of circles, I asked a class of seventh- and eighth-grade students to investigate the prices of different sizes of pizzas to see if the prices were related to the pizzas’ areas. Their assignment was this: Find and call a pizza place.

3. Conn. school 'pizza' assignment using toppings as sexual

One Connecticut school is under fire for handing out a ‘Pizza and Consent’ assignment, where 8th grade students were given a handout stating that pizza can be used as a “metaphor for sex ...

4. Pizza-Based Sex Class In Enfield Middle School Causes Outrage

ENFIELD, CT — An assignment called "Pizza & Consent" which was given to eighth-grade Family Health and Human Sexuality students at John F. Kennedy Middle School has outraged some, despite ...

5. CT middle school's “Pizza and Consent” assignment outraged

Eighth-grade students at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Enfield, Connecticut were given an assignment that combined a popular food item and sex acts. After the school received exactly the kind of response that would be expected, it now says the assignment was “a mistake.”

6. Family Health and Human Sexuality Lesson for 8th graders uses

Sex and Gender. Parents in Enfield, Connecticut are raising serious concerns about a recent assignment given to 8th grade students that uses pizza as a metaphor for sex and compares pizza toppings to sexual likes and dislikes. It cites “kissing” and “giving oral” as examples of pizza toppings and then asks students to list their sexual ...