Wednesday, June 19, 2013

# M&M Math

Talk about a fun week of math learning with M&M’s!  Below you’ll find all sorts of activities we have done with M&M’s.  Most of the ideas could easily be used with other types of candy pieces, too.

Estimation: Fill a jar with M&M’s and ask your children to estimate how many they think are in the jar. The older the child, the bigger the jar should be.

Sorting: Place a pile of M& M’s in front of each child and have them sort the candy into color groups. Older kids can sort according to various attributes, like colors containing red vs. those not containing red, for example. Let them sort as many times as they can think of a new attribute.

Counting: If you have younger children, count and tally the various color groups of M&M’s.

Red + Green =

R + G =

(R + G) x (Y – Bl) =

2(R + G) x 3(Y – Bl) x 12 =

Fair Shares and Division: Invite several stuffed animals over for a party. Divide the M&M’s into fair shares and determine if there are any remainders. Do this several times with varying numbers of “guests”.

Multiplication Arrays: Use the M&M’s to build multiplication arrays. (Not sure what an array is? Visit this site.)

Word Problems: If you have younger children, give oral word problems like, “You have three blue M&M’s and six yellow M&M’s. How many do you have altogether?”  Use the M&M’s as manipulatives.

Older children should use the M&M’s to make up their own written word problems.

Mean, Median and Mode: A pile of M&M’s is a great opportunity to practice finding averages, middle numbers and the number occurring most often.

Fractions, Decimals and Percents: Use the pile of M&M’s to decide the fractional part of each color of M&M as compared to the entire group. For example, if you have 5 red M&M’s out of a total group of 25, the fraction would be 5/25 – reduced to 1/5. Transfer the fractions to decimals and percents, too.

Graphing: Make pictographs, bar graphs, comparison graphs, pie graphs, graphs made in a spreadsheet program on your computer. One or all, graphs are great fun. Find a printable M&M’s bar graph here.

Measurement: Use the M&M’s as measuring tools to find the length, width, circumference, radius, perimeter and/or area of various items around the house.

I’d say that’s just about enough math to rival any textbook curriculum for a week, don’t you?

I found some fun sites with other ideas for using M&M’s in your homeschool classroom.

And here are a few books that relate to candy math.

8 Responses to “M&M Math”
1. Laurie says:

Thank you for sharing this! I can’t wait to try some M&M math this week.

2. Gina Stewart says:

Love these ideas…and anything to justify eating m&m’s! I’ve enjoyed getting to meet you in person at co-op! I was already following your blog and reading your new book….you are an inspiration! God Bless.

3. Cindy says:

Gina, I have enjoyed meeting you, too! It seems like we probably have a lot in common. I look forward to talking with you more!!

4. Louise says:

I am a substitute teacher in a 6th grade math classroom. I’ve used M&M’s to do several of these activities, and the kids love it! Nothing like a little chocolate to get kids excited about math!