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NYU Steinhardt EMAT Teaching Residency
Hotchalk Global

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




3, 4, 5, 6  

Title – M & M GRAPHS
By – Judy Leathers
Subject – Math, Computers
Grade Level – 3-6
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.

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.

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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