## Monday, March 21, 2016

### Jelly Bean Math

The countdown to Easter (and the spring testing season) has begun!  Today, I planned a quick little project with a group of 10 second graders that was super engaging and a great way to practice estimating, counting, comparing numbers and early division concepts.
It all started with little Dixie Cups of jelly beans (I used these ones).  I put the kids in 3 groups.  I gave each group a little cup of jelly beans and posted these directions on the SMART board.

 Want to try this with your students? Grab these directions from Google Drive.

Two of my groups had 3 kids in them and one group had 4 kids.  I gave the groups with 3 kids 45 jelly beans and the group with 4 kids 60 jelly beans.

I have really been working on independence with these kids and tried my best to step back and observe and not take over!

I saw so many things that made my math heart happy!

 Kids organizing and recording estimates
 One group organized all their beans by color and then decided it would be much more efficient to put them in groups of 10.  The other groups went for groups of 10 from the get go.
When each group had figured out how much they had, it was quite easy for them to figure out how much they were off by.  These kids are so flexible and fluent with double digit subtraction

Dividing the jelly beans equally between each group member was fun to watch.  Each group started by giving everyone 10.  Two of the groups were convinced that there would be a leftover bean that would have to be cut up.  The rationale was that because 15 is odd, there will be a leftover.  They were surprised to find that there was none left!  The main strategy for sharing out the beans was to give each person 10 and then share them out 1 by 1 until they were gone.

This part took a total of 14 minutes (including a few minutes of eating the beans!)

Then I pulled the group together and had each group share out how many beans their group got and how many each person ended up with.  There was some outcry over one group getting 60, but it provoked an interesting discussion about how each kid ended up with 15.

I then presented them with this problem."There are 10 second graders in this room and I gave you each 15 jelly beans.  How many jelly beans did I give out?"  I gave kids a minute to think at the circle then sent them off to grab a white board and show me what they knew.  I chose this problem because last winter when I was reading Children's Mathematics I became very intentional about making sure kids have the chance to solve Base 10 Story Problems.  Since 10 kids were in this group, I thought it would be interesting to see who used base 10 knowledge to solve this problem.  I gave out 10 groups of 15 but some kids used the idea of that being the same as 15 groups of 10.
 This student used base 10 knowledge to solve the problem (and the distributive property!)
 Another student who used base 10 knowledge
 This student added 45+45+60.  They used the number of jelly beans each group had.

Total time for this was 25 minutes.  We had a lot of fun, the kids got some good practice and I got to learn some new things about what strategies my students have.  How are you working on estimating and counting in your classroom?  Want to try this out?  Grab the directions from Google Drive