Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mm math day -marshmallows and M&Ms- preschool style

Oh what a fun day we had. M&Ms and marshmallow math day.  How could you go wrong with such yummy treats?

I had a book, but we didn't get time to read it at school.  The kids and I read it at home and it's cute, just doesn't really happen to go with my activities.   This is Marshmallow by Clare Newberry. 


First, we looked at how much space M&Ms, mini marshmallows, and regular marshmallows take up.  I asked lot of questions about these jars and we made predictions.   We counted each and asked more questions and made more predictions.  


The kids were pretty good at guessing the marshmallows, we were all way off on the M&Ms.   We recorded our information and reread our results.   This information was useful in making predictions on our second activity.


Next, we weighed marshmallows and M&Ms.  The kids LOVED  using the balance scale.  I placed a certain number in one side and we made predictions about what it would take to balance it.   I also had a few examples written out and we made predictions and then tested to see which was actually heavier.


Then the kids wanted to just pour all of the items in the sides and see what happened. We did.  I left the balance scale out when we had some extra time and the kids flocked to it.  I will have to find other opportunities to use it. 


I did end up making this balance scale.  It wasn't hard and cost about $6 in materials.  I had the baskets from an old scale.  I think that you  could use pie pans or some other container in place if needed. 


Here's a side view.  The main vertical piece is three pieces of thin wood glued together with a space for the arm. The arm is a touch thinner than one of the stem pieces. 

My favorite activity was this marshmallow measuring activity.   I had several sheets prepared like this one.  We did one as a group.  I showed how to lay the marshmallows on the line and how to count those up and record it on the appropriate line.


  I divided the kids into partners and sent them somewhere in the room to work on their sheet.  They worked so well together today.  I think we're getting there!  Some groups finished early and got to measure the line with M&Ms too. 


After the groups were done, we came back to our circle and shared our results.  I think this was the most valuable part of this activity, to share the results.  This is the first time we've done something like this where the kids discussed their work orally after the activity.  


This was our end of the day activity.  The kids each had a sheet and a handful of marshmallows. We rolled the dice as a group and we worked on covering the numbers. 


Here was the craft today.  It is a mountain M to go with all the other letters we've been doing each week.  


For our snack, our leader brought monkey cupcakes.  Too cute!



I sent a M&M graphing activity home. It wouldn't have been fair to do all of these fun things with treats and not get to eat any.   The sheet attached just gives the parents some ideas about what questions to ask as they work on this activity with their child.  One of my parents emailed me a picture of their child working on the chart.  So, I know at least one family did it.


This is something that we display each day at dismissal time on a clipboard by the door.  I don't think I've ever shared it before.   Lou's classroom does this too.  They have a sign that says 'car talk.'  I though it was such a good idea, so my class does it too now.  It gives the parents some information about what we did in class and helps them guide the conversation in the car or at home.  It often says the book we read, a game we played, a song we worked on, something special the leader brought, etc. 


I ate more M&Ms this day than a person probably should.  Good thing I don't like marshmallows. 

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