How is Math Like Peanut Butter?

How is math like peanut butter?  How are prime numbers like glue?

Here is an instructional strategy that you can quickly use to help students to think carefully about the attributes of two very unlike ideas.

This post ends differently than my other animated posts.  It ends with a challenge.  I am looking for at least 20 educators who will complete one or both of the two statements listed below, and will be willing for me to post your response right here in my blog, along with your name and Twitter handle.

Math is like peanut butter because…

Prime numbers are like glue because…

How is math like peanut butter?  How are prime numbers like glue?

Please take a moment to respond to one (or possibly both) of the questions above.

I’m looking forward to posting reader responses here!  Let me know if I can I post your

• response
• name
• role
• general location
• Twitter handle if you have one

Thanks!

Eagerly awaiting,

Steve @stevewyborney

Wow!  What an outpouring of responses!  These are clever, witty, insightful, and they detail connections that would have been far beyond me.  Thank you for sharing your insights!

Math is like peanut butter because it can be tough to chew, but good for you!

Prime numbers are like glue because they help keep the composite numbers together.

Jim Cordery, 6-8 Math Teacher, New Jersey, @jcordery

Math is like peanut butter because at times its a little thick to get through but in the end, its all good!

Linda Schmidt, Elementary Principal, Minnesota, @MAESPrincipal)

Math is like peanut butter because if you leave it sitting (w/o practice) it will separate & be useless.

Sarah Moore  Student Teacher, British Columbia, @SMooreBC

Math is like peanut butter because it’s not for everyone, but those who love it find creative ways to use it. And both are full of nuts.
Prime numbers are like glue.  Without them, everything falls apart.  And if I have anything less than 2, I need neither.
Denis Sheeran, Supervisor of Mathematics, New Jersey, @MathEdisonHSNJ

Math is like peanut butter because it goes well with almost anything (science, writing, etc.)
Prime numbers are like glue because they are often stuck between composites.
D. Zach Holden, 4th Grade eMINTS teacher, Missouri, @mrzholden

Math is like peanut butter because if you exposed your child to it at an early age, there’s a smaller chance of them being “allergic.”
Deanna Perkins, 2nd Grade Teacher, Texas, @PerkinsClass2

Math is like peanut butter because they are both amazing with chocolate.
Jennifer Lamb, Director of Elementary Math, Oklahoma, @educatorjen

Math is like peanut butter because it mixes with other things and is very sticky.
Scott Duncan, TEAM Coach for Tennessee Department of Education, @sduncanap

Math is like peanut butter because it often drives you nuts.
Karen Graham, Stage 3 Teacher, Sydney, @kin2009

Math is like peanut butter because they make it difficult to sound intelligent when your mouth is full of either one of them.

Prime numbers are like glue because they are sometimes hidden. You can’t always see them, but you know they are there.

Timothy Gill (@tbgill) K-12 Math Teacher, Amateur/Recreational Mathematician

It can seem difficult to work one’s way through and has some sharp edges, but, by experiencing it, you get to the sweet spot of satisfaction and end up ingesting something wonderful that can sustain you for ages.

Prime numbers are like glue because they hold both mathematics and the world together and to account.

Linda Shardlow, Head of Mathematics, @ShardsL

Math is like peanut butter because math connects the theory with applied results just as peanut butter connects bread with jelly!
Prime numbers are like glue because prime numbers cannot be divided just as glue that’s “divided” is still glue!
John Bennett, Emeritus Engineering Faculty, Connecticut, @jcbjr

Sometimes it’s smooth but the times it has bumps (peanuts) is always better!
Rosy Burke, 5th Grade Teacher, Missouri, @rosy_burke

When you first encounter it can be sticky but as you continue to enjoy it is smooth & fulfilling.

Wayne Tuttle, 5th Grade Teacher, Wyoming, @wyowayne68

Math is like peanut butter because it can get sticky at times!

@LearnWithJoyOH , Pre-K through 4th Grade Teacher, Ohio

Math is like peanut butter because alone it is okay, but combined with other subject you get a delicious and fun sandwich.

Don Myers, Middle School Engineering and Design Teacher, Texas, @daddyaggie

Math is like peanut butter because it’s hidden inside everything in nature like peanut butter is hidden inside great snacks.

Anthony Purcell, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Oklahoma, @MrP_tchr

Math is like peanut butter because without spreading it out into smaller parts it’s harder to swallow.
Brenda, 5th Grade Teacher, Iowa, @Brendaelcms

Math is like peanut butter because it is spread all around us.

Todd Bloch, 7th Grade Science Educator, Michigan, @blocht574

Math is like Peanut Butter because it can be tough to swallow in large gulps. It is best in small bites.
Prime Numbers are like glue as they are bound together in pairs.

Suzanne Rogers, AP English teacher, PD, ELA Coach, Little Rock, AR, @Rogers_suzanne

Prime numbers are like glue because they look clear and simple on the surface but reveal great power upon further investigation.

Alexandra Fradkin, Mathematician, Teacher of Enrichment Math, New Jersey, @aofradkin

This one is from my 6 year old:

Math is like peanut butter because you can do fun experiments with both!

Math is like peanut butter because it’s usually full of additives.

Jennie Allan, Middle School Math Teacher, Michigan, @JennieAllan2

Math is like a jar of peanut butter: Spread the contents all around, and watch kids’ smiles grow!

Prime numbers “adhere” like glue to create all of our composite numbers.

Mary Auger,  6th and 8th Grade Math Teacher, Indiana, @mary_mauger

Math is like peanut butter because it can be smooth, crunchy and flavorful at the same time.

Prime numbers are like glue because they hold composite numbers together.

Telannia Norfar, Math Teacher, Oklahoma, @thnorfar

Math is like peanut butter because, as peanut butter opens the world to a hungry child, math unlocks the universe to an eager mind.

Math is like peanut butter because it’s the universal language in a multi-tongued world, just as peanut butter speaks to every hungry child.

Justin Bokor, creator of MWord, Australia, @justinbokor

Math is like peanut butter because sadly some people are intolerant of it.

Andrea Stringer, Year 1 Teacher and Coordinator of K-2, Sydney, Australia @stinger_andrea

Math is like peanut butter because it is rich and satisfying and helps grow brain cells when you consume it!

Prime numbers are like glue because they adhere the layers of our number system together in the wonderful collage that is mathematics.
Susan Davidson, Educational Consultant (K-6 Numeracy), Ontario, Canada, @SACDavidson

Math is like peanut butter because once you start to consume, your stomach and mind keep making room.

Brooklyn Agnoluzzi, 4th year concurrent education student, Brock University Ontario Canada, @brooklyn_brookl

Math is like peanut butter because by adding the variable (e.g. honey or jelly) you split the denominator (number of required shares).

Prime numbers are like glue because they don’t pass through a sieve without getting stuck.

Loreyse Agnew-Green, Mathematician, Early Years / Primary School Teacher, Administrator, Brisbane, @LoreyseAG

Prime numbers are like glue because they are stuck on themselves and have only one other friend.

Rani Chatterjee, Primary School Teacher, Sydney, @miss_rani84

Maths is like peanut butter because if you use it in a simple form (sandwich) or complex form (cake ingredient) it’s the one thing that holds everything together.

Jim Pugh, Principal Lecturer of Education, Staffordshire University, UK, @Jim_Pugh

Math is like a Peanut Butter because there are a 1000 ways to use it in our daily lives but we are often scared to try them!
Mark Williams, PE Teacher, Singapore, @Williams10Mark

Math is nutritious, like peanut butter, it contains the protein which are the building blocks of an active and inquisitive mind.

Math “sticks with you” very much like peanut butter does to the roof of your mouth.

Prime numbers are the building block of Math, holding it all together and creating a common link between various different concepts and tasks.
Tim Boudreau, Grade 8 Math and French Teacher, Bampton, ON, Canada, @timboo_drow

Math and peanut butter are both nice and juicy, full of flavour and when you get it, it sticks.
Jonathan So, Grade 2 Teacher, Peel, Ontario, Canada, @MrSoclassroom

Maths is everywhere
Crunch the numbers
Smooth out he problems
Maths!  It’s like peanut butter!
Trish Evans, PYP Tech Integration Coordinator, China, @trishevanz

1. Jim Pugh on March 30, 2015 at 10:32 am

Maths is like peanut butter because if you use it in a simple form (sandwich) or complex form (cake ingredient) it’s the one thing that holds everything together.

Jim Pugh
Principal Lecturer of Education
Staffordshire University
UK
@Jim_Pugh

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 30, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Fantastic! I’m learning so much about math from the many perspectives that are coming in. It’s making me hungry, too!

2. Susan Davidson on March 29, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Math is like peanut butter because it is rich and satisfying and helps grow brain cells when you consume it!
Prime numbers are like glue because they adhere the layers of our number system together in the wonderful collage that is mathematics.
Susan Davidson
Educational Consultant (K-6 Numeracy)
@SACDavidson

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Very, very nice analogies, Susan! Thank you!

3. Brooklyn on March 29, 2015 at 9:40 am

Math is like peanut butter because once you start to consume, your stomach and mind keep making room.

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm

I like it! Can I add your name, role, general location, and twitter handle?

• Brooklyn Agnoluzzi on March 29, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Absolutely!

Brooklyn Agnoluzzi, 4th year concurrent education student, Brock University Ontario Canada, @brooklyn_brookl

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 29, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Thanks!

4. A. O. Fradkin on March 28, 2015 at 10:33 am

Prime numbers are like glue because they look clear and simple on the surface but reveal great power upon further investigation.

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 28, 2015 at 6:25 pm

I like this insight about the depth of investigation. So true!

5. Jennie Allan (@jennieallan2), middle school math teacher, Birmingham, MI on March 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

Math is like peanut butter because it’s usually full of additives. 🙂 Ok to post all info.

6. A. O. Fradkin on March 28, 2015 at 8:31 am

This one is from my 6 year old:

Math is like peanut butter because you can do fun experiments with both!

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 28, 2015 at 9:10 am

That is wonderful! Please pass on kudos to the author of the quote!

7. Suzanne Rogers on March 28, 2015 at 8:30 am

Math is like Peanut Butter because it can be tough to swallow in large gulps. It is best in small bites.
Prime Numbers are like glue as they are bound together in pairs.

@Rogers_suzanne
AP English teacher, PD, ELA Coach
Little Rock, AR

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 28, 2015 at 9:09 am

Two really good analogies! Thank you!

8. @mrjblair on March 27, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Math is like peanut butter because they both make me feel good in my soul.
Prime numbers are like glue because you can use them to keep you secrets safe.

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 27, 2015 at 9:52 pm

Very nice! Can I add a role / general location / and twitter handle to this?
These are very poetic!

9. John Bennett on March 27, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Math is like peanut butter because math connects the theory with applied results just as peanut butter connects bread with jelly! Prime numbers are like glue because prime numbers cannot be divided just as glue that’s “divided” is still glue!

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 27, 2015 at 8:32 pm

Great reply, John! I’ll post it in the blog text. Would you like me to post a role, general location, and/or twitter handle?

10. Linda Shardlow on March 27, 2015 at 6:12 pm

It can seem difficult to work one’s way through and has some sharp edges, but, by experiencing it, you get to the sweet spot of satisfaction and end up ingesting something wonderful that can sustain you for ages.

Prime numbers are like glue because they hold both mathematics and the world together and to account.

Linda Shardlow
@ShardsL

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 27, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Wow! That is a great reply! Thank you!

11. Timothy Gill on March 27, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Math is like peanut butter because they make it difficult to sound intelligent when your mouth is full of either one of them.

Prime numbers are like glue because they are sometimes hidden. You can’t always see them, but you know they are there.

Timothy Gill (@tbgill) K-12 Math Teacher, Amateur/Recreational Mathematician

• stevewyborney@gmail.com on March 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Excellent. Very rich thinking here. Thanks, Timothy!