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In our family, we try to work on math every day.  Over the years, we’ve used the Saxon Math Program, and I really like the way it spirals, builds on previous knowledge little by little, and gives continued practice with previous skills.  I’ve found that it’s worked great with my kids.

Sometimes, though, we like to leave the workbooks and texts, and play games or do some hands on math. As all of my boys were working on graphing in their math books, I decided it would be fun to do some real life graphing.  We decided that we would use smarties for our graph.  (Nothing makes kids want to start school in the morning more than doing math with smarties!)  Fun, educational… and edible!  A great combination!

First, we had the kids look at the smartie box, and guess how many smarties were in it.  Next, they emptied out the box, looked at what they saw, and estimated how many there were.  After that, they sorted the smarties by colour.  We found out that no one had the same amounts of any colour, and that not everyone had the same amount of smarties in their box.  That was a surprise!

Although this activity is very suited for primary students, when you pull out smarties, everyone wants to participate!  So, we did this activity on a few levels.  My youngest son sorted out his smarties by colour, and then coloured in a pre made graph.  My middle son took the information from the pre made graph, and then made his own bar graph, with the bars facing the other way.  This gave him practice with labelling and naming a graph as well as planning out the size and scale of the graph.  My two oldest took the information, and displayed it in a circle graph.

After sorting by colour, they counted up how many they had of each colour, and proceeded to fill in their graphs. For my youngest two, colouring in and making a new bar graph was easy; they’ve had quite a bit of practice with graphing.  The older two had to figure out how many degrees each smartie was worth in a circle graph, and then multiply that number by the number they had of each colour.  The tricky part with that was making sure that they measured accurately, or the last section wouldn’t be the right size.

We had a great time doing smartie math – and it made me want to think of more fun activities to incorporate into our math learning.  If you’d like to try this activity with your family, you can download the graphing form for free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

Do you have any fun math activities or games that you’ve used?  If you do, please link to them in the comments box; I’d love to hear them. Enjoy your schooling!

 


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