Parentheses (The Popular Brackets)

Part of the bracket punctuation family, parentheses are versatile and unique in that they are used frequently in both writing and math equations. When writing, parentheses provide the opportunity to include additional, helpful information to the sentence. In math, the use of parentheses denotes the order of operations by which you solve the problem. Knowing how to use this curved character is important for both sides of the brain!

The history of the parentheses is fuzzy, but there is decided agreement that Erasmus (a Catholic theologian who lived from 1466 to 1536) coined term "lunula" for this particular bracket because they look like crescent moons.

Photo from www.coolmath.com

Photo from www.coolmath.com

ACTIVITY

Parentheses Pretzels!

Who said playing with food is a bad thing?! We found a quick and easy (only 30-minutes!) soft whole wheat pretzel recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com. Since the dough is so simple to make, you can spend more time with your kids playing with the pretzel shapes to make - you guessed it – parentheses! Of course you can make letters and/or numbers to put within the parenthesis and make your children work a little harder for their snack. Then, after baking for 10 minutes and sprinkling with salt, cinnamon sugar or whatever toppings you’d like, you can make words and math equations and showcase your parenthetical prowess! Happy educational baking!

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