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This one involves creating M&M; Graphs and Spreadsheets on a computer

Subject:

Math  

Grades:

3, 4, 5, 6  

Title – M & M GRAPHS
By – Judy Leathers
Subject – Math, Computers
Grade Level – 3-6
INTRODUCTION:
I used this as an introductory lesson on creating spreadsheets and graphs with 4th graders as a collaborative project with the classroom teachers for a math unit. The lesson was done in the Technology/Computer Lab and students were allowed 2 (35 min.) class periods to complete the project. Printed graphs were displayed on the math teacher’s hallway bulletin board.

THE PROCESS:
Students are given a handful of plain M & M’s in a sealed plastic bag and asked to estimate (guess) how many of each color they have. Estimates are recorded on a sheet, noting how many of each color. To make it easier for students to transfer information to a spreadsheet/graph, have them record guesses in colored markers which correspond to the colors of the M & M’s.

Students set up a spreadsheet with columns/row labeled “Estimate” and “Actual”. Then they record their guesses in the “Estimate” column, count the actual number of that particular color M & M, and record the number in the “Actual” column. As each color is counted and recorded, have the students change the text color to correspond to the color of the M & M’s. It makes for a colorful and easy-to-understand graph.

The students then convert the spreadsheet into a bar graph, give it a title, transfer the graph to a new word processing document, and write about the steps in creating the graph.

EVALUATION:
Students are evaluated on the accuracy of the graph and the written report they give on the steps used to create the graph.

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