dy/dan: Nana's chocolate milk

Nana's chocolate milk

The dy/dan ‘Three Act Math’ resources focus on developing problem solving skills. They tell mathematical stories through video and images.

The ‘First Act’ introduces a story using the minimum number of words to setup a problem the viewer will want to resolve. In ‘Nana’s Chocolate Milk’ the ‘First Act’ shows a drink being prepared. One too many spoons of chocolate is added. How can we fix Nana’s chocolate milk?

The ‘Second Act’ is where students assess the information and mathematical tools available to them. They then arrive at a solution to the problem.

Using 5 cups of milk and 20 scoops of chocolate would give the ‘correct’ taste, but fill the glass several times over. Adding half a cup of milk, and one extra scoop of chocolate gives the correct taste with the ratio being 1.5:6, equivalent to the required 1:4. These quantities have the advantage of fitting in the glass! Solving the problem involves a different approach from most ratio questions.

The ‘Third Act’ resolves the conflict by providing an answer to the problem. In this case there is a video showing milk and chocolate being added to the glass.

We have recently added Dan Mayer’s ‘dy/dan Three Act Math’ materials, this example being ‘Nana’s Chocolate Milk’.

You can also join us at the National STEM Centre in York to experience ideas for teaching through understanding on the following Enthuse funded courses:

Starting teaching mathematics in September? Just completed your NQT year?

Join us this July to explore what makes good mathematics teaching. As well as exploring a range of teaching strategies to help engage and inspire students during your first teaching post we will look at questioning, promoting positive behaviour, planning for learning and ways of giving feedback that make a difference.

This is a residential course, fees include meals and accommodation for the duration of the course. 

Encourage active learning in secondary mathematics lessons with the use of manipulatives.

Manipulatives - or “objects to think with - include counters, interlocking cubes, Cuisenaire rods and tiles etc". Research suggests that their use is beneficial to mathematical understanding, and can help students with retention, problem solving and reasoning.

This two day, residential, hands-on, practical experience is suitable for all teachers of mathematics in secondary school.

This is a residential course, fees include meals and accommodation for the duration of the course. 

A full list of CPD is available here.




Age11-14, 14-16
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