Geometric gingerbread houses

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By Amanda Tonoli


C.H. Campbell Elementary students employed math skills to make miniature gingerbread houses Thursday afternoon.

“We’re making Christmas ornaments with the kids for their parents,” explained Barry Tancer, lead builder and former Canfield school board member. “I love doing it.”

The idea stemmed from an old tradition of making gingerbread houses out of cookies.

“We said, ‘I wish we can make them more permanent,’” Tancer said. “Five years later, and a couple thousand houses, we are still making them out of wood. It’s something they can have forever.”

Second-grade teacher Crystal Schneider said she enjoys the activity.

She loves it because the class studies traditions, folk tales and their origins – and the German origin of gingerbread houses goes right into her lesson.

“This is really neat as they are learning about holidays around the world and the gingerbread house originated in Germany. ... Gingerbread houses come from the German folktale of Hansel and Gretel,” Schneider said.

Math skills also come into play during the creation of the gingerbread house ornaments.

“We learn about angles and parallel lines and more,” Tancer said.

Measuring is another math aspect that is key to the activity.

Senior student Maddie Impton of Canfield High School said she appreciates the opportunity for students to create the houses and learn at the same time.

“I think it’s really cool they can have so much fun while learning,” she said.

Students were equally enthusiastic about getting to learn while having fun.

“School is just the best,” said second-grader Isabella Turocy.

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